Declan Danaher is the longest serving player at London Irish and in his 13 years at Sunbury, has witnessed firsthand the club's transformation both on and off the pitch.
He joined the original Player Development Programme, the forerunner of today's Academy, in 1999 at the age of 19 when Dick Best, the club's first Director of Rugby, was in charge.
A decade later, on 23rd January 2009 in the European Challenge Cup match away to Rovigo, he became only the fifth player to make 200 appearances for the club. In doing so he joined the distinguished quartet of Justin Bishop, Neal Hatley, Ryan Strudwick and Kieron Dawson, in reaching a double century of caps.
The combination of his long service and an impeccable Irish background (his mother is from Limerick and his father from Kerry) gives Declan a very special status at the club.
After an initial flirtation with soccer (he had a trial for Queen's Park Rangers) and Gaelic football, rugby provided the perfect outlet for his considerable athletic skills.
In 13 years playing at the top level, Danaher has established himself among the most effective and respected back row players in the Premiership making 259 appearances scoring 21 tries.
A cruciate ligament knee injury in the Heineken Cup match against Scarlets, just minutes after he had scored his first try of the 2009/10 season, brought a sudden end to his campaign. Unfortunately after months of rehabilitation Danaher suffered a similar injury early into the 2010/11 season; however after months of rehabilitation Danaher was fit and raring to go for the start of the 2011/12 season.
Danaher was London Irish's Young Player of the Season in 2000/01 and 2001/02. He has represented Ireland at U19 level, Irish Exiles at U19 and U21 level , England at U21 level and England A. He has also played for the Barbarians.
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