James Downey (rugby union)
|Date of birth||23 March 1981|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Republic of Ireland|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|University||University College Dublin|
|Rugby union career|
|Years||Club / team|
|Professional / senior clubs|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|correct as of 24 Feb 2014.|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|correct as of 16 June 2013.|
James Downey (born 23 March 1981 in Dublin, Republic of Ireland) is an Irish rugby union player for Munster in the Pro 12 and Heineken Cup. He plays as a Centre. He was educated at Belvedere College, where he won the Leinster Schools Junior Cup.
Downey made his debut for his home province on 10 October 2003, against Cardiff Blues. He scored his first try for Leinster on 2 April 2004 against Glasgow Warriors. He left the province to join Connacht for the start of the 2004–05 season.
Downey struggled to gain game time at Connacht due to injuries, managing only three games during the 2005–06 season, and was released from his contract.
In an effort to find more game time, Downey accepted a trial at the then Heineken Cup champions Munster. He made his debut against Cardiff Blues in the Celtic League on 1 September 2006. He played two more games for Munster, against Border Reivers and Glasgow Warriors, but left Munster when offered more game time with Italian club Rugby Calvisano.
The lure of Heineken Cup rugby led to Downey joining Italian Super 10 (now National Championship of Excellence) side Calvisano. The club were in Pool 3 of the 2006–07 Heineken Cup and, after releasing one of their centres, were looking for a new player. Then coach, Marc Delpoux, had been impressed by Downey when Connacht played Narbonne in October 2004, and brought him to Brescia.
Downey signed for Saints in June 2007. He made his debut for the club against London Welsh in National Division 1 on 1 September 2007, and scored his first try against Bedford Blues on 22 September. He was part of the Saints team that secured promotion to the Guinness Premiership in 2008. In the 2008–09 season, Downey helped Saints secure European silverware when they beat CS Bourgoin-Jallieu to secure the 2008–09 European Challenge Cup.
Return to Munster
Downey played his first game of his return to Munster on 1 September 2012, starting at Inside Centre in their opening league fixture against Edinburgh. He scored his first try for Munster in their league fixture against Ospreys on 23 February 2014.
Downey's form for Northampton saw him earn a place in the Ireland A team for the 2009 Churchill Cup. He came off the bench in the opening fixture on 10 June 2009 against Canada, before starting against Georgia on 14 June. Downey had to settle for an appearance off the bench again as Ireland A beat England Saxons 22–49 to win the 2009 Churchill Cup Final. Downey was added to the senior Ireland squad to tour North America on 2 June 2013. He made his senior debut for Ireland on 15 June 2013, starting against Canada.
- "Interview: James Downey". irishrugby.ie. 2 October 2006.
- "Munster make Blues work for their win". munsterrugby.ie. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Saints add Downey to centre roster". northamptonsaints.co.uk. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Six-try Saints secure full points". northamptonsaints.co.uk. 1 September 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Saints take home the trophy and head into the Heineken Cup". northamptonsaints.co.uk. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Downey Deal Done". munsterrugby.ie. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Munster sign Northampton Saints centre James Downey". BBC Sport. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Munster bring back Downey". planetrugby.com. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Downey and Laulala in Cork". munsterrugby.ie. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- "Munster Show True Grit". munsterrugby.ie. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Munster Overcome Ospreys Challenge". munsterrugby.ie. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
- "Ireland 'A' Leave It Late Against Canada". irishrugby.ie. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Ireland 'A' Qualify For Churchill Cup Final". irishrugby.ie. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Ireland 'A' Cap Off Stunning Season With Churchill Cup Success". irishrugby.ie. 21 June 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- added to Ireland squad "Downey added to Ireland squad". espnscrum.com. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- "McFadden Hat-Trick Helps Ireland Surge Clear of Canada". irishrugby.ie. 16 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Leinster Profile
- Munster Profile
- Northampton Saints Profile
- Ireland Profile
- Wolfhounds Profile
- ERC Profile
- ESPN Profile