Noel Mary Purcell is the only Irish international rugby player to win an Olympic gold medal, which he did as a member of the British waterpolo team in Antwerp in 1920. In those days, before the emergence of the Irish Free State in 1922, Irish based sportsmen qualified to represent Britain only. Purcell later represented Ireland in the 1924 Olympics on the Irish waterpolo team (without much success). Purcell played in all Irelands rugby internationals in 1921 and six years later he became a noted rugby referee and had charge of the Scotland v England match at Edinburgh in 1927.
Position Flanker / No 8
Date of Birth 14/11/1901
International Debut versus England
International Debut Date 12/02/1921
Last Test versus France
Last Test Date 09/04/1921