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John Hayes is an Irish rugby union international, who also plays in the Magners League for Munster. Having spent his underage career playing with the local Cappamore GAA club, he was 18 when he started playing rugby. It was his size (6'4", 19st) which enabled him to overcome his late start to the sport.

He first played as a wing forward in a Munster Junior League match against Newcastle West R.F.C. At the start of his career, he was affectionately referred to as the 'Calf', before then being known as the 'Bullock' as his career progressed then finally the 'Bull'. He is also known for being one of the most honest and professional players in rugby union which is one of the reasons he has had such a long and successful career.

He was introduced to the game of rugby union by friends when he joined the local Rugby Club, Bruff R.F.C.marker based in County Limerickmarker, he then moved up a grade when he joined Shannon R.F.C. before traveling to Invercargill, New Zealandmarker. During his stay in Invercargill, he changed position from Second Row to Prop Forward. On his return, he rejoined Shannon R.F.C. and gained his place on the Munster squad. He later rejoined his original club, Bruff RFCmarker. He continues to keep his place in both the Irish and Munster squads.

Ireland

Hayes won his first International cap against Scotlandmarker in 2000 and has been Ireland's first-choice tighthead prop ever since. He was a member of the British and Irish Lions squad in their tour to New Zealand in 2005 and played in the warm up test match vs Argentina.

Hayes became Ireland's most capped player during Ireland's first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009 with 94 appearances.

Munster

In 2006, he helped Munster win the Heineken European Cup in Cardiffmarker's Millennium Stadiummarker on 21 May against Biarritz. Earlier that year he had helped Ireland secure the Triple Crown.

In 2008, he again helped Munster win the Heineken European Cup in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 24 May against Toulouse.

2009 Sending Off Against Leinster

On the 2 October 2009, Hayes was sent off during a Magners League game between Munster and Leinster for stamping on Leinster prop Cian Healy. He was handed a six week suspension for the offence, a ban which he appealed.On appeal, Hayes had one week knocked off the suspension. The decision was made by an IRFU appeals committee chaired by Billy Glynn, who was assisted by Leo Galvin and George Spotswood, and was based on Hayes’s exemplary disciplinary record. Hayes had never been sent off in his career prior to the 54th minute dismissal that was called for by the linesman after he kicked out at Cian Healy.

2009 Lions Tour

On 18 June 2009, Hayes was called up to the British and Irish Lions squad in South Africa as a replacement for the injured Euan Murray. He played in the final test match of the tour.

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