Development & Alumni Relations Office 


April 28 2017

In the week when Iain Henderson was named part of the British and Irish Lions June 2017 tour to New Zealand, all eyes were on the Sir William Whitla Hall on Friday 21 April when Queen’s University Rugby Club (QURC) hosted a Gala Dinner to celebrate all those former players who have represented both the University and the famous international touring side.

The unique event, which was attended by former Lions including Tommy Bowe, Trevor Ringland and Nigel Carr, also marked the launch of the Robbie Moore Hall of Fame. The first inductees each received a specially commissioned Medal of Honour, named after the Past President of the Club, Robbie (Robin) Moore, who gave 30 years of dedicated service to QURC and who died in November 2016.

Guests heard how Robbie had helped nurture talented Queen’s individuals such as Iain Henderson, Tommy Bowe, David Humphreys and Gary Longwell. A University spokesperson said the Hall of Fame would be a fitting way to honour Robbie’s legacy.

The four inaugural Hall of Fame inductees were Dick Milliken, Harry McKibbin, Jack Kyle and Cecil Pedlow, with Dick Milliken (pictured above) attending in person to accept his honour. Jack Kyle, who died in November 2014, was represented by his daughter Justine and son Caleb, who collected their father’s award.

One of the event organisers Darryl Callaghan, Rugby Development Officer at Queen’s, said the occasion was a very special one in the Club’s history: “We are absolutely delighted and hugely honoured to have been able to host such a wonderful event at Queen’s.

“No other club on the island of Ireland has contributed more to the British and Irish Lions than Queen’s, and no other individual has contributed more to Queen’s University Rugby Club than Robbie Moore, who we are also honouring this evening.”

In all, Queen’s has provided 22 players (see below) for the British and Irish Lions, more than any other club in Ireland. From Alex Foster and William Tyrrell on the 1910 tour to South Africa, to Tommy Bowe (2009 & 2013), many have put on the famous red jersey that features the crests of the four unions.

And it is expected that the Club’s most recent Lion, Iain Henderson, a former Queen’s maths student from Craigavon, will receive his first Lions’ cap as he joins the tourists for their visit to New Zealand from 03 June – 08 July this year.

Speaking ahead of the occasion, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, Professor David Jones, said: “This unique reunion of rugby legends who have represented Queen’s and the Lions celebrates all that is great about the University and rugby. It is another example of how Queen’s is at the heart of the city, with world-class sporting facilities right on our doorstep.”

The Gala Dinner also included a lively Q&A session hosted by Queen’s graduate Mark Simpson and with Lions from various generations. Throughout the evening an auction and ballot with some unique sporting memorabilia and other top prizes took place in support of the University’s Rugby Academy, which aims to provide a high performance culture for rugby and to support the wider strategic objectives for sport at Queen’s.

Founded as Queen’s College, Belfast in 1869, Queen’s University Rugby Clubis the oldest continuous rugby Club in Ulster and the second oldest in Ireland.

Donations to the Jack Kyle Rugby Academy at Queen’s can be made onlineusing the (Fund Name) drop-down menu. For further information contact Meaghan Lyonson +44 (0)28 9097 3928.  

Media inquiries to Darryl Callaghan, Rugby Development Officer, Queen’s University Belfast on + 44 (0)784 237 5114.

Queen's Lion Kings

1910 – Alex Foster & William Tyrrell

1930 – Henry O'Neill

1938 – George Cromey, Blair Mayne, Harry McKibbin, Robert Alexander

1950 – Noel Henderson, Jackie Kyle, Bill McKay

1955 – Cecil Pedlow, Robin Thompson

1959 & 1962 – Dave Hewitt

1966 & 1968 – Roger Young

1966 &1974 – Ken Kennedy

1974 – Dick Milliken

1983 – David Irwin

1983 & 1986 – Trevor Ringland

1986 – Nigel Carr

1989 – Philip Matthews

2009 & 2013 – Tommy Bowe

2017 – Iain Henderson



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