A Tribute To Greig Oliver
4th July 2023 By The Editor
Munster Rugby Elite Player Development Officer Greig Oliver tragically passed away in Cape Town on Tuesday at the age of 58 with the tributes immediately pouring in for a great man who made such a positive impact on so many people.
Munster Rugby were lucky to have Greig as a member of our Academy staff for 12 years, he played a huge role in the lives of so many young players on and off the pitch.
A proud Scotsman, we were privileged to have him as a colleague and a friend.
Greig’s family were his pride and joy. He took great pleasure in watching his son Jack and daughter Ciara excel in various sports and was always on the sidelines supporting them as a very proud dad.
Son Jack, also a scrum-half, joined the Munster Rugby Academy last summer with parents Greig and Fiona proudly watching on as he made his Ireland U20s debut at the World Rugby U20 Championship against Australia last week.
Daughter Ciara excelled at Gaelic football and camogie and was selected for the Limerick Ladies Minor team in 2021 after impressing for Murroe Boher. She plays senior camogie for Ahane Camogie Club.
An incredibly popular character in Irish and Scottish rugby, Greig made the move to Limerick in 2007 with his wife Fiona, a Limerick native.
After featuring in two Rugby World Cups as a player, he worked with the Scottish Rugby Union for 13 years in Glasgow, Edinburgh and his native Borders, coaching Scotland U20s and U21s, as well as coaching his beloved Hawick RFC.
Scottish Rugby have posted an excellent piece on his time in Scotland here.
He worked as Technical Director and later Director of Rugby at Garryowen FC for four seasons before taking up the position of Elite Player Development Officer at Munster Rugby in 2011. He also held coaching roles with the Ireland U20s, Munster A, the province’s age-grade sides and Cashel RFC.
Munster’s Head of Rugby Development, Colm McMahon, joined Greig in 2011 when both became Elite Player Development Officers with the Academy.
Talking about Greig’s time with Munster Rugby, Colm said, “He was a true Scotsman, a true Munster Rugby man, a true friend.
“There was no denying where Greig was from, his Scottish accent seemed to get stronger as the years went by, to the point we thought he was putting it on just to keep us on our toes. That and his sense of humour made him stand out from the crowd.
“It was as if Greig lived in the High Performance Centre, he was an ever-present part of the daily life of the training centre.
“Coming and going you would meet Greig on his way in and out of a pitch session with a bag of balls and whistle in hand, and a group of eager players never too far behind.
“Everybody who knows Greig knows he loved rugby, and he loved his job, helping players become better athletes and better people.
“In a high-performance environment everyone is under pressure to deliver with performances and results the driving factors. Greig made sure to enjoy it all with his positive personable approach, and he took any chance to get a laugh going, usually at the expense of another colleague and friend in the room.
“He always managed to find the lighter moment and was generous with his time making him so popular amongst staff and the players that were lucky enough to cross his path. He built relationships and cherished them, and whether you knew him from year one or only in the last month he made an effort and kept in contact with so many.
“It’s not surprising to see the outpouring of messages for Greig, and the Oliver and McNamara families, he leaves a huge void, and we are forever grateful for the time we had with him.
“My sincere condolences to Fiona, Jack, and Ciara.”
Tributes To Greig Oliver
On behalf of World Rugby and the global rugby family, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Oliver family, the Ireland U20 squad and the Irish rugby community at this difficult time.https://t.co/TAJZYU5HWW #rugby via @WorldRugby @IrishRugby
— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) July 3, 2023
All at Garryowen F.C. are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and club mate Greig Oliver who was involved in a tragic paragliding accident in Cape Town today.
He will be greatly missed by all of us lucky enough to have known him
RIP Greig pic.twitter.com/JfCc2hG1IP
— Garryowen FC (@GarryowenFC) July 3, 2023
Horrific news, an absolute gentleman who loved to coach and see young people improve and realise their potential. Met him recently after a 10 year gap and still as dedicated to his craft as ever. Rest in peace Greig
— Scott Deasy (@scottdeasy10) July 3, 2023
A great coach and a truly good man. Open, honest and generous to help others learn. A master of the craft and a huge hole will be left in his absence. Rest easy GOL
— Tom Painter (@tom_painter1) July 3, 2023
Very saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Greig Oliver in South Africa today.
He contributed a great deal to the game of rugby – both as coach with @Munsterrugby and as a player for his native Scotland.
Absolutely devastated to hear of the passing of my good friend Greig Oliver. I was lucky to spend many great times on & off the pitch with him playing for the South or touring with Scotland.
My thoughts are with Fiona, Jack, Ciara & his family at this very sad time. RIP Mate 💙 pic.twitter.com/iqxRujaY98
— Craig Minto Chalmers (@Chick_Chalmers) July 4, 2023
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 3, 2023
Scottish Rugby is deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Hawick & Scotland scrum-half Greig Oliver today. Greig was instrumental in the careers of many players in Scotland & beyond. Our thoughts are with his family & friends.
A tribute here: https://t.co/zZJ1uBYxZk
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) July 3, 2023
This is how I’d tend to remember the late great Greig Oliver (pictured beside Pete Malone here).
Plenty to say always, and by feck he loved this game. Was always proud of every player he worked with.
We’ve lost a good’un.
A true and loyal ledge ❤️ pic.twitter.com/znbgTSWqOs
— Justin Deegan (@JustinDeegan_) July 3, 2023
— Scott Hastings (@ScottHastings13) July 3, 2023
Absolutely shook.. another Munster hero taken too soon. Great for keeping in touch this past year. Thank you for absolutely everything, rest in peace you legend 💔🦌 https://t.co/zIe7Dv3SDE
— Seán. (@seanfrench8) July 3, 2023
Deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the untimely passing of Greig, Dad to Ciara on our Senior team.
Greig was a fantastic supporter of our club and was always on the sidelines supporting Ciara along side his wife Fiona.
We send all our prayers & love to Fiona, Ciara & Jack https://t.co/F4M4yuOtjS
— Ahane Camogie Club (@AhaneCamogie) July 3, 2023