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Denis Anthony Hickie (Irish name: Donnacadh Antoine Ó hIceadh ) born 13 February 1976 in Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker is a retired professional rugby union footballer employed by the Irish Rugby Football Union. He played his club rugby for Leinster. His primary position was on the wing. He is also known as Disco Denis as a result of his quick feet. Other names include Le Hique, Tickets, and DenDen.

Career

Hickie was educated at St Marys Collegemarker in Rathmines and led them to the Leinster Schools Senior Cup title in 1994. He went on to university in UCDmarker, where he completed a commerce degree. At UCD Denis was on a dual scholarship for rugby union and athletics.

He made his senior debut for Leinster on the 6 September 1996 in a friendly match away to a Genoa President's XV and his senior Irish debut on 1 February 1997 against Wales. He earned 51 caps for Ireland, scoring 29 tries for Ireland and held the Irish try-scoring record until his friend and Leinster colleague Brian O'Driscoll broke it in 2008.

He was a little unfortunate to miss out on selection to the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia. He overcame a ruptured Achilles tendon sustained during the 2003 World Cup and forced his way back into the Irish line-up, apparently losing nothing of his pace. His solid form in the 2005 Six Nations earned Hickie a call-up for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and the Leinster back became a key member of the successful midweek team.

Hickie has suffered many injuries throughout his career. In October 2005, in the week coming up to the European Cup, he dislocated his right fibula following a training ground accident and missed the autumn tests. This injury kept him out of the 2005 autumn international series and he subsequently lost his place on the Irish team to Ulster's Andrew Trimble for the duration of 2006, despite his excellent form for Leinster. This was best captured in his try in Leinster's Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Toulouse in France which saw him run the length of the pitch partnered by Gordon D'Arcy to score in the corner. Ironically, injury to Trimble saw Hickie retake the number 11 shirt for Ireland against Australia in the 2006 Autumn tests where he scored a notable try, beating four Australian defenders with his trademark 'dancing' footwork. Making the number 11 jersey his own, and scoring two further tries in the 2007 Six Nations, Hickie was first choice left wing for the 2007 World Cup, after which he retired.

A box in Dublin's popular concert venue, the Olympia Theatre, carries a nameplate "The Denis Hickie Box" as it is where he tends to watch gigs from. The Olympia is owned by leading concert promoters MCD.

Hickie proved to be a hit when he stood in for Jenny Huston on her Waiting Room show on 2fm on Friday 20 October 2006 from 8pm until 10pm for one night only. He had previously filled in for her when she was on holiday before the summer. An avid music fan, Hickey said, when interviewed by Ireland's Hot Press magazine: "Unfortunately a lot of the people I seem to like are dead now. I’m a huge Elliott Smith fan and I really love Nick Drake’s stuff. Obviously, though, I won’t be seeing them in concert anytime soon.

Brian O'Driscoll respectfully mentioned Denis & his contribution to Leinster Rugby in his after match interview after the final whistle in the 2009 Heineken Cup Final which Leinster won.

Quotes

“I’ve always been a Leinster player. My dad played for Leinster, my uncle played for Leinster, my cousin played for Leinster. I’m a Leinster lad. I don’t make any apologies for it. That’s my team."

References

  1. RTÉ Web
  2. Hot Press -”
  3. Sky Sports http://www.skysports.com/rugbyunion/World_Cup/Story/0,21043,13144_2651378,00.html


External links




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