Niall (Rynner) Rynne

Niall (Rynner) Rynne
President Leinster Branch IRFU


It was 1983 and a young man arrived at St Mary’s College RFC, having just graduated from Templeogue College, across the road. He was Niall Rynne. Niall was one of six Rynne brothers, close friends and competitors. While at Logue, Niall, or Rynner to the wider public, excelled in all respects. He captained his school senior cup team and was in all arenas, a true sportsman. He is intensely proud of his Templeogue College origins and, since leaving has been involved in PPU activity, including a spell as president of the PPU. He actively supports all aspects of Logue activity.

He crossed the road and there found his new home, St Mary’s College RFC, where he was to thrive and indeed where he continues to so do. The moment he arrived it was clear that he was going to be a leader. The defiant sparkle in his eyes and the easy smile, marked him out; not to mention the clarion voice which defies deafness and defines his inner spirit. That same voice that can match a complete kop, can charm at will, or switch to memorably melodic song of the highest quality. He became immediately popular and remains universally so in the club and wider social circles.


Quickly making his mark on the U19 team as a backrower, the following season Niall was selected to captain the U19s. The first season at the club he also played in a Fox cup campaign, getting to the final
He then had a long and successful rugby career, ever commanding attention and contributing in an outstanding way. On the field he fearlessly epitomised the soul of the club. A lot of his rugby was played on the junior teams, which gave him a deeply-held empathy with the junior game and he has become a staunch defender and champion of all junior rugby. He did play at senior level, and particularly remembers, with pride and nostalgia, playing in the Leinster Senior Cup, at Lansdowne Road.

He captained the third XV twice, winning the league and cup and he also captained a J3 league winning team. He won nine medals in all, a hefty haul; including three Fox Cup medals, alongside many veteran club legends like, Popey, Dave Donohue and Declan Fanning. He played in several other finals. He continued to play, even up to recent seasons, always willing to put on the boots to help out a team found short. Additionally, he frequently refereed junior games, when called upon. Rynner proved to be a motivational coach too, and was part of the coaching team of the U20s in 1994-5.

He was also involved in rugby administration and was co-director of rugby in the season 2002-03, with his good friend and fellow Logue alumnus, Kevin Conboy. He later became the club’s junior representative to the Leinster Branch IRFU, where he was highly regarded and hard-working. He made a particularly notable contribution as chairman of the competitions’ committee. This is an especially difficult area to deal with, as junior rugby was, and is, undergoing significant changes in player numbers and attitudes, requiring innovative rearrangement of leagues to compensate.

Off Field Activity

Since arriving in the club, Niall’s enthusiasm and willingness to help and get involved in all aspects of club activity was notable and he has become so much in demand that there is hardly a development or change that he has not led, or had a hand in. His personality and ability has meant that many events requiring host or frontman relied on Rynner. And he has become the consummate MC. He has the added ability of being a very fine singer. He loves the microphone and once won a wrestling competition for a microphone. In fact he has little need for a microphone with his built-in PA system, and many a Marys’ team or indeed Leinster or Logue team has felt the benefit of it. As he got less involved on the field, he became more involved off the field. He was the first Junior Vice President in 2007-08 season and followed up as a most successful and personable club president in 2009-10. Since then, he has been deeply involved in all aspects of club activity and was a marvellous MC for the highly successful “Strictly Marys” series in Croke Park.


In 2012 Niall took over as the club’s Leinster Branch IRFU representative and, as he had been imbedded in the Leinster culture from his acclaimed and assiduous work in the junior committees, he was an immediate success and an exceptionally popular member of the executive committee. He became Leinster junior vice president for season 2015-16. Having vibrantly supported his senior colleague last season he now steps up as president. He has many positive plans for the domestic game and already has been a devoted and integrated supporter of the professional game. Rugby, and particularly Leinster and IRFU, have much more to get from Niall.

Family Life

Even Rynner has a life outside rugby. He is married to Claire, a highly qualified and successful business woman, who is happily, dedicated to supporting her man in all his endeavours. As he himself admits, he could not undertake anything like the amount rugby related activities, without her forbearance and positive help and support. Their three girls, all talented students and daughters, also proudly support their dad.
He could not have achieved any of this without that support and help. Neither could he, without his having a successful insurance and mortgage consultancy, developed through hard work, ability and a congenial personality. Academically, he has achieved much, with several insurance and banking qualifications and in 2002 he gained a coveted MBA from Dublin City University.

On top of all that he finds time to train and keep fit. He even managed to complete the Dublin City Marathon.

The club, including all members and supporters are proud of Rynner and everyone wishes him a dream year of social enjoyment, fulfilment and rugby success at Leinster.

D O’Brien