The exclusive list of Ireland Six Nations legends Peter O’Mahony joins

Dylan Coetzee
Split with Ireland's Peter O'Mahony, Johnny Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll.

Split with Ireland's Peter O'Mahony, Johnny Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll.

Ireland’s 31-7 win over Wales marked a special occasion for captain and veteran flank Peter O’Mahony, who notched up his 50th appearance in Six Nations rugby.

The skipper becomes the ninth Irishman to reach the milestone, and with that in mind, Planet Rugby takes a closer look at all the stars to reach the figure.

Peter O’Mahony

The current skipper who is nicknamed ‘War God’ has been a cornerstone of Irish success in recent times. O’Mahony, like everyone else on the list, is a Test centurion for his country and took over captaincy from close friend Johnny Sexton at the beginning of the year.

He has four titles in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2023, with two Grand Slams, and one would not be against the robust flank lifting the title for the first time as captain.

O’Mahony is an outstanding player and is already amongst the best in Ireland’s history.

Rory Best

The former captain is not only an Ireland legend but a Six Nations legend as well, having won the championship on four occasions (2009, 2014, 2015 and 2018), with the first and last of these victories being a Grand Slam.

The hooker was an outstanding player for his country and holds the record for most caps as a forward for Ireland with a whopping 124 appearances between 2005 and 2019.

Ronan O’Gara

Another legend of the game, especially in the green of Ireland. O’Gara was a masterful fly-half and one with a very astute rugby mind, which has seen him transform into a brilliant coach as his success at the helm of La Rochelle suggests.

Interestingly, O’Gara only won a single Six Nations title, which was the Grand Slam in 2009, but claimed the Triple Crown on three occasions before that in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

The former Munsterman represented his country a whopping 128 times, scoring 1,083 points – a tally that was only recently surpassed by Sexton last year.

Brian O’Driscoll

Arguably Ireland’s best-ever product and one of the best centres to ever play. O’Driscoll’s mark is still left on the Six Nations, with his 26 tries in the championship, the most in history still to this day.

It is rather surprising that O’Driscoll only won two Six Nations titles in 2009 and 2014, with the first of the two being a Grand Slam. However, he did bag four Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Outside of his outstanding ability on the pitch, the centre was a brilliant leader and skippered his country on 83 occasions in an impressive record.

Cian Healy

It is legend after legend on this list, with the first prop being the one and only Cian Healy, who was part of several successful teams in the Six Nations.

The front-row has four titles to his name (2014, 2015, 2018 and 2023), with Grand Slams in the last two of those, which is a solid return for the Leinster man.

During his career with Ireland, he has notched 127 caps and could keep adding to that tally under Andy Farrell after being included in this year’s Six Nations squad. It could well mean another Grand Slam, too, with Ireland dead on favourites for the 2024 title.

Johnny Sexton

Iconic. The face of the rise of Ireland rugby to a genuine global powerhouse over the last six years. The former fly-half and captain’s illustrious career in the Six Nations not only included 50 caps but four titles (2014, 2015, 2018 and 2023) with two Grand Slams.

Sexton was a serial winner during his career and a player who took charge of the game when he was on the field, particularly in the latter stages of his career. The all-time points scorer for his country and a centurion in Irish green.

The ex-Leinster star is certainly in the debate for the best-ever Ireland player.

Conor Murray

Another active player on the list and a Rolls Royce of scrum-half who effectively donned his country’s colour on the Six Nations stage for years. Murray, who was a long-time half-back partner of Sexton, shared the same record of titles.

Murray is already a Test centurion with Ireland and is looking to keep adding to his tally. He also has a good chance at adding to his trophy haul in the Six Nations as Ireland charge on seemingly unchallenged this season.

John Hayes

One for the big men again as the second and last prop on the list is a veteran from the early 2000s with over a century of caps for Ireland roughly half of which came in the Six Nations.

Hayes was an outstanding player but did not enjoy the same title success as some of the other players on the list but still has the 2009 Grand Slam next to his name a year before he became the first Irishman to reach 100 caps in the famous green.

Paul O’Connell

A servant of Irish rugby with a century of caps and is now the forwards coach for the national side. O’Connell was a towering and commanding lock who was a proper leading-by-example captain for his country.

O’Connell was part of the building blocks for the current success of the Ireland side but had playing success of his own with three Six Nations in 2009, 2014 and 2015 including a Grand Slam.

Now, as a coach, he already has a 2023 Grand Slam and is looking to guide the side to back-to-back Slams.

Most capped Ireland players in the Six Nations

65 – Brian O’Driscoll
64 – Rory Best
63 – Ronan O’Gara
62 – Cian Healy*
60 – Johnny Sexton
55 – Conor Murray*
54 – John Hayes
51- Paul O’Connell
50 – Peter O’Mahony*

*Denotes still active players (updated on 25 February 2024).

READ MORE: Ireland keep Grand Slam hopes on track after Six Nations win over Wales