Trevor Brennan at De Danú, his pub in Toulouse
|Nickname||The Wee Jessie|
|Date of birth||29 September 1973|
|Place of birth||Leixlip, Ireland|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||17 st 5 lb (110 kg)|
|Rugby union career|
|Position||Second row or Flanker|
Trevor Brennan (born 29 September 1973) is an Irish former rugby union player. He played for Barnhall, Bective Rangers, St Marys College RFC, Leinster, Stade Toulousain and Ireland, being capped 13 times. He played either in the second row or as a flanker. In 2007 he attacked a fan and was banned for life, later reduced to five years.
Brennan made his debut for the senior Ireland team in a 13-37 defeat against South Africa on 13 June 1998 and went on to make 13 test appearances, including the 1999 Rugby World Cup. During this tournament that Brennan's abrasive image was tested, after a fight with Australia's Toutai Kefu, who was aided by two teammates who held Brennan's arms back.
After leaving Leinster for Stade Toulousain, Brennan fell out of favour with the Irish national team. He subsequently went on to play in three consecutive European Cup finals as part of the Stade Toulousain team, with two wins (Perpingnan 2003, Stade Français 2005) and one defeat (against Wasps 2004).
Ban and retirement
During a Toulouse v Ulster match at the Stade Ernest Wallon on 21 January 2007, Brennan jumped into a section of the crowd housing Ulster supporters and repeatedly struck Ulster fan Patrick Bamford. Brennan alleged afterwards that abuse towards his mother triggered his action. His uncle took this further alleging sectarian abuse had taken place, a claim initially supported by the club before swiftly being retracted. In their investigation of the incident European Rugby found no such abuse took place. They found that Brennan was being baited over the standard of the bar he co-owns in Toulouse.
Brennan announced his retirement on 3 March 2007, before the result of the disciplinary process. For his attack he was banned for life from playing rugby, fined £17,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to Bamford.
In June 2007 the ban was reduced to a 5-year suspension following an appeal. It was held that the life ban was 'disproportionate' to the offence. Bamford's recollection of events was recorded in the Independent Appeal Committee Decision's statement.
Following his retirement Brennan and his family have remained in Toulouse, where he owns an Irish bar. He coached the Toulouse Crabos B under 18 team. Brennan has had occasional columns, written by Gerry Thornley, published in the Irish Times, and has appeared on television as a rugby commentator. After his retirement, he began operating a rugby tours company.
In 2008 Brennan and Ireland rugby fitness coach Mike McGurn, were part of the Ireland International rules football coaching staff in the International rules series against Australia. Both Brennan and McGurn played Gaelic football in their youth and were invited by the Irish manager Seán Boylan and the GAA to give their expertise from rugby in the game which is a mix of Aussie Rules and Gaelic football.
- "Ireland International Teams: Results, Scorers, Dates and Venues 1874 to June 1999". www.irishrugby.ie. 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- Foy, Chris (23 January 2007). "Toulouse back Brennan over attack that put Ulster fan in hospital". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- "The travesty of Toulouse". Belfast Telegraph. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- "Brennan gets life ban from rugby". BBC News. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
- (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20120229040733/http://www.ercrugby.com/images/content/cupstandard/TrevBrennan1June2007.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2007. Missing or empty
- Staff writer (6 November 2008). "Sports stars longlisted for Irish award". The Bookseller. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- "Irish call on rugby player". The Advertiser. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-26.