Keith Wood played international rugby union as hooker for Ireland, the British Lions, Garryowen, Harlequins and Munster.
Wood’s playing career began at Garryowen who he helped to win the All Ireland titles in 1992 and 1994 before a moving to Harlequins.
He returned to play with Munster Rugby in the 1999–2000 season and played in the European Rugby Cup final. He was capped 58 times for Ireland and five times for the British & Irish Lions. He was renowned for his strength was in leadership and open play where he dominated the world XV’s hooker spot. He was known as ‘Uncle Fester’ based on his similarity to a character in ‘The Addams Family’.
He played on the 1997 and 2001 Lions tours, and won the IRB World Player of the Year award in 2001. He played a part in the Lions’ 2-1 series victory over the Springboks in 1997. Wood captained Ireland on 36 of his 58 appearances and was followed as Ireland captain by Brian O’Driscoll.
He currently holds a world record of 15 full international test tries scored by a hooker, previously held by Sean Fitzpatrick of the New Zealand All Blacks.
After retiring from rugby Keith founded W2 Consulting specialising in the area of strategic planning and project evaluation with a sector specialism in sport, tourism and facilities development. He has worked with international brands such as Mastercard, Nike, Diageo, Royal Bank of Scotland and Rabobank in the area of sponsorship planning and marketing implementation.
Keith holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick for services to Sport and sits on a number of boards that include Special Olympics, University of Limerick Sports Arena, Spin SW and is Chair of Healthy Ireland Council. The W2 Foundation, established by Keith in 2005, has raised and granted over €1.5 million to date. Keith works as a rugby commentator for the BBC and writes in The Daily Telegraph.
In 2014, Keith Wood was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.