Ray McLoughlin
Birth nameRaymond John McLoughlin
Date of birth24 August 1939
Place of birthBallinasloe, Ireland
Date of death20 November 2021(2021-11-20) (aged 82)
UniversityUniversity College Dublin
Rugby union career
Position(s) Prop
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
University College Dublin
Blackrock College
Gosforth Rugby Football Club
London Irish
Barbarian F.C.
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Connacht ()
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
British Lions

Raymond John McLoughlin (21 August 1939 – 20 November 2021)[1][2] was an Ireland rugby union international who was capped 40 times at prop, an Irish record at the time. He began at tight head, moving to the open side on his return to the Ireland team in 1971 after a five-year absence.[3] McLoughlin captained his country on seven occasions. He was selected for two test series with the British Lions and played for invitational tourists the Barbarians. McLoughlin also had a long career at club and provincial level, representing Connacht.

Early life

He was born in Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, Ireland, and received his secondary school education at Garbally College and Blackrock College. He is one of five children of Tadhg Mac Lochlainn and Mel Kelly. He is a brother of Colm McLoughlin and Feidlim McLoughlin.

He studied at University College Dublin graduating with a degree in chemical engineering and played for the university club UCD RFC.[citation needed]

Rugby career

He toured twice with the British Lions, in 1966 to Australia and New Zealand and again in 1971 to New Zealand.[4] Both tours saw McLoughlin injured, though in the 1966 tour he managed to play in three Tests before being forced to retire. However, in 1971 he managed just five provincial games before he broke his thumb in a rough game against Canterbury.[5]

McLoughlin's knowledge and scenario planning were highly valued by other good players.[6] John Taylor, who toured with McLoughlin with the British Lions in 1971, described him as 'one of the best technicians the game has ever known'.[7] Sports columnist Bill Bridge in 2008 named him as Ireland's best open-side prop of the previous 40 years.[8]

Business career

Outside rugby, McLoughlin was a business man, and in 1973 he was the chief executive of James Crean, an industrial holdings company.[9] As of 2006 he was the chairman of Oakhill printing group.[5]


He died on 20 November 2021, aged 82.[2]


  1. ^ Ray McLoughlin player profile ESPN Scrum.com
  2. ^ a b Thornley, Gerry (22 November 2021). "Irish rugby legend Ray McLoughlin dies, aged 82". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  3. ^ 'The versatile front-rowers' espn.co.uk accessed 22 November 2021
  4. ^ Ray McLoughlin player profile Lionsrugby.com
  5. ^ a b Sea Point (25 March 2006). "Ray McLoughlin – Connacht Rugby Legend". rugbynetwork.net. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Carwyn remembered in S4C documentary". 29 May 2009.
  7. ^ Taylor, John (28 May 2008). "Band of Brothers – Lions of '71 roar one more time". Scrum.com. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  8. ^ Bridge, Bill (13 March 2008). "Ireland's greatest XV". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  9. ^ "Capped rugby player who scored in business". The Irish Times.