Declan O'Donnell

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Declan O'Donnell
Full name Declan Patrick Te Kahui O'Donnell
Date of birth (1990-11-28) 28 November 1990 (age 24)
Place of birth Thames Valley, New Zealand
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 94 kg (207 lb)
School Hamilton Boys' High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Wing[1]
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2011– Waikato 24 (35)
correct as of 9 October 2014.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
correct as of 4 November 2012.
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
2010–11 New Zealand

Declan O'Donnell, from Waikato, is a New Zealand international rugby sevens player[2] who made his World Series debut in the 2010–11 season. He became an overnight sensation after he scored three tries for New Zealand during the final of the 2011 Wellington Sevens against England.[3] O'Donnell made his Super Rugby debut for the Chiefs in 2012, but was delisted at the end of the season, and will join the Dunedin-based Highlanders in 2013.[4]


O'Donnell is of mixed Irish-Maori descent. O'Donnell attended Hamilton Boys' High School,[1] where the first match he recalls playing was for Hamilton and against arch rival Kelston High School.[2] He was discovered by New Zealand head coach Gordon Tietjens playing in a local tournament in Te Rapa. Tietjens had tagged him as an "emerging player".[1]

Within weeks of his discovery, he was on the main squad. O'Donnell made his debut for New Zealand sevens team in the 2010 Dubai Sevens. After the first three legs of his debut season, O'Donnell had already scored 17 tournament tries. His hat-trick in the final of the NZI Sevens made him an instant national hero,[3] and put him jointly as top try scorers for the 2010–11 season along with South Africa's Cecil Afrika and Fiji's Seremaia Burotu.[2]

O'Donnell made his ITM Cup debut for Waikato in 2011, and was signed by the Chiefs in 2012. After making only one appearance with the side, he was delisted at the end of the season, and was signed by the Highlanders for the 2013 season.

O’Donnell will join the Highlanders for the 2013 season after impressing at ITM Cup level for Waikato. His pace and skills will be a welcome addition to the Highlanders’ squad for the upcoming season. Declan will be looking to increase his game time in 2013 for the Highlanders


O'Donnell is believed to have been involved in an aggravated assault by two doormen at the Outback Inn, Hamilton, during January 2011.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Robson, Toby (7 February 2011). "Another sevens star is born, thanks to Tietjens". The Dominion Post. Faifax. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c 60 seconds with... Declan O'Donnell, International Rugby Board, 11 February 2011
  3. ^ a b "O'Donnell goes from being unknown to Sevens superstar". Television New Zealand. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Super Rugby Profile: Highlanders – Declan Odonnell". Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Sevens player involved in bar assault

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