Mick Galwey is honest enough to admit to you that he was in and out of the Ireland team a lot during his career, so much it would make your head spin. But, there’s no denying his commitment to the cause, as he picked up 41 international test caps over an 11-year period.
Galwey was lucky enough to lead Ireland out as captain four times as well, but it was his omission from the 1995 Rugby World Cup that sticks in his throat to this day. It’s a decision he still doesn’t fully understand, given that he was only one of two Ireland players called onto the Lions tour in 1993 and stared for Shannon and Munster the year after.
The Munster legend was the headline guest on our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast this week and it really was a can’t miss show for fans of the oval ball. Galwey opened up on Gerry Murphy’s choice to leave him out of the World Cup squad to hosts Paddy Power and Ruby Walsh, in what was a refreshing honest conversation.
“I still wonder to this day,” Galwey replied when asked about the then Ireland coach’s decision to leave him at home from the World Cup in South Africa.
“To put it this way, in ’93, I was good enough to be picked for the Lions. Nick Popplewell and I were the only two Irish players to be picked for the Lions to go to New Zealand.
“In ’94 Shannon won the All-Ireland league and Munster won the Interpros.
I can honestly say that I was never playing better.
“So, to be dropped for the ’95 World Cup – to be honest – it was one of the hardest things to take. Yet at the same time, I remember the day before the squad was announced Shannon were going for 10 AIL matches won in-a-row. It had never been done.
“We had won the All-Ireland league. There’s no doubt about it, to be dropped for the ’95 World Cup is something I look back and think, ‘what did I do wrong there?’ Nobody ever explained to me.
Galwey tended to yo-yo in and out of the Ireland team during the 11 seasons he spent in the green shirt. But, there was something quite admirable about how he fought each and every time he was dropped to get his jersey back.
“I was dropped 17 times, but I was recalled 16,” Galwey chuckled.
The most recalled player of all time. That’s the positive I think out of it! That’s the way I look at it.
“It’s amazing though, I was always picked for France. I look back on my career and any time we were playing France I was playing. We could be playing England at home and I mightn’t get picked at all.
“I got more caps against France than any other side because against the French it was just a dogfight. I’ll not say that was my strength, I don’t know what they saw in me, but I was always picked against them. I was never dropped.”
- Mick Galwey: Neil Back apologising was WORSE than what he did to Munster
- Football tips: Sheffield United can seal Tuesday’s Premier League Double
- Cheltenham tips: 6 favourites worth following at the 2021 festival