Bill Johnston (rugby union)

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Bill Johnston
Date of birth (1997-02-07) 7 February 1997 (age 21)
Place of birth Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 86 kg (13.5 st; 190 lb)
School Rockwell College
University University of Limerick
Notable relative(s) David Johnston (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015–present Garryowen ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2017–present Munster 5 (0)
Correct as of 16 March 2018
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2016–2017 Ireland U20 5 (50)
Correct as of 18 March 2017

Bill Johnston (born 7 February 1997) is an Irish rugby union player for Pro14 and European Rugby Champions Cup side Munster. He plays as a fly-half and represents Garryowen Football Club in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League.

Early life[edit]

Born in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Johnston first began playing rugby aged 6 with Clonmel RFC.[1] He won the 2015 Munster Schools Rugby Senior Cup with Rockwell College, leading the side from Fly-half in their 23–13 victory against Ardscoil Rís.[2]


In November 2015, Johnston joined the Munster Academy.[3] On 13 November 2015, Johnston made his debut for Munster A, starting for the side alongside his brother, David, in their 27–25 defeat at the hands of London Scottish in their 2015–16 British and Irish Cup pool opener and scoring a penalty on his debut.[4][5] On 11 December 2015, Johnston scored 8 points, all from conversions, in Munster A's 28–8 victory against Ospreys Premiership Select in Round 3 of the tournament.[6] 9 days later, Johnston scored 16 points off the tee as Munster A again beat Ospreys Premiership Select, this time 46–26 away from home in Brewery Field.[7] On 10 December 2016, Johnston scored 10 points, all from the tee, as Munster A beat Rotherham Titans 35–24 away from home in Clifton Lane in Round 3 of the 2016–17 British and Irish Cup.[8] In December 2016, Johnston was ruled out for 8–12 weeks with an ankle injury.[9] On 25 March 2017, Johnston made his competitive senior debut for Munster when he came off the bench as a replacement for Tyler Bleyendaal in the 50–14 away win against Zebre in a 2016–17 Pro12 fixture in the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma. Johnston had been a late call-up to the Munster bench after his older brother, David, replaced the injured Andrew Conway in the starting line-up.[10] On 31 March 2017, Johnston started for Munster A in their 2016–17 British and Irish Cup semi-final against Ealing Trailfinders. Munster A won the game 25–9, but Johnston went off injured during the first half and it was later confirmed that he had fractured his fibula.[11][12] On 1 June 2017, it was announced that Johnston had been promoted to the senior Munster squad ahead of the 2017–18 season.[13] He signed a two-year contract with Munster in April 2018.[14]


On 23 May 2016, Johnston was selected in the Ireland U20 squad for the 2016 World Rugby Under 20 Championship. This was his first call-up to the Under-20s team, having previously represented Ireland at U18 level.[15][16] On 7 June 2016, Johnston made his debut for the side when he started in Ireland's opening pool fixture against Wales U20, scoring 11 points in his sides comeback 26–25 victory, having one point trailed the Welsh by 17 points.[17] On 11 June 2016, Johnston again started, this time against New Zealand U20. He contributed 10 points in Ireland's historic 33–24 win against New Zealand U20, the sides first against their U20 rivals, but had to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder late in the first-half.[18] Subsequently, the injury ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.[19] On 24 February 2017, Johnston made his first appearance in the 2017 Six Nations Under 20 Championship, replacing the injured Jonny McPhillips and starting against France U20. Johnston scored 12 points in his sides 27–22 victory in Donnybrook Stadium.[20][21] On 11 March 2017, Johnston again started for Ireland U20, this time against Wales U20 at the Eirias Stadium. Johnston scored 12 points off the tee for his side, including 3 conversions, but it was not enough to prevent Wales winning 41–27.[22] On 17 March 2017, Johnston started and scored 5 points from the tee in Ireland U20's 14–10 defeat against England U20.[23]


  1. ^ "The future is bright: Bill Johnston (First year academy)". Irish Independent. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Rockwell College deny Ardscoil Rís a first ever Munster Senior Cup title". Irish Independent. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Getting To Know Our Ireland U20 Representatives". Munster Rugby. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  4. ^ "O'Driscoll Names Strong 'A' Side". Munster Rugby. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  5. ^ "B&I Cup Defeat For Munster A". Munster Rugby. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Bonus Point Win For Munster A". Munster Rugby. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Bonus Point Win For Munster A". Munster Rugby. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Munster A Take Maximum Points In Rotherham". Munster Rugby. 10 December 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Greencore Academy Update". Munster Rugby. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Maximum Return From Italian Job". Munster Rugby. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Munster A Secure Home B&I Cup Final". Munster Rugby. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Squad Update". Munster Rugby. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Five Academy Players Promoted to Senior Ranks". Munster Rugby. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Squad Update Pre-Ulster". Munster Rugby. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Getting To Know Our Ireland U20 Representatives". Munster Rugby. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Ireland Squad Named For World Rugby U-20 Championship". Irish Rugby. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Ireland U20s Edge It In Thrilling Opener". Munster Rugby. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Ireland Under-20s Down New Zealand For Historic Victory". Irish Rugby. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Injured Johnston Is Replaced By Connon". Irish Rugby. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Ireland Under-20 Team Named For France Clash". Irish Rugby. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Three-Try First Half Inspires Ireland U-20s' Third Win". Irish Rugby. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Ireland U-20 Lose To Wales In Epic Eight-Try Encounter". Irish Rugby. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Ireland Under-20s Fall Just Short In Absorbing Battle With England". Irish Rugby. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.

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