Noel was educated at Garbally College, Ballinasloe and represented Connaught at schools and under 20’s level. He initially played for Corinthians where he gained 11 of his caps and was the first player from that club to win an Irish cap. He played for Connaught on many occasions and on joining Lansdowne he won a further 5 caps. He played both as No.8 and flanker for Ireland and played in the World Cup against Japan in 1991.
“Fly” is probably most famously remembered for his try against Wales in Cardiff Arms Park in 1989. Having blocked Bledwyn Bowen’s fly kick on the Irish 22 metre line Mannion came up with the ball as much to his own surprise as everyone else’s. The most amazing scene developed as the Galway man made a bee-line for the Welsh line pursued by most of the Welsh team. All that was missing was the plaintive tooting of the hunting horn, and the baying of the hounds. It was a long journey, a full 70 yards passed before Mannion eventually fell over the line in a dive that was as graceful as a tree being felled. He remained on the ground for a few moments totally drained after scoring one of the most remarkable tries ever seen in the game.
He also had the distinction of playing Gaelic Football for Galway when they reached the All Ireland semi final in 1987 when they were narrowly defeated by Cork.
Position Number 8
Date of Birth 12/01/1963
International Debut versus Samoa
International Debut Date 29/10/1988
Last Test versus Scotland
Last Test Date 16/01/1993
Test Tries 3
Total Test Points 12