Born in the American city of San Diego and educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork and University College Cork he is Munster’s and Ireland’s record points scorer. Acknowledged as one of the best out-halves in the business he is also the holder of the Heineken Cup’s points-scoring record.
In 1998 he helped the Ireland Under-21s to a Triple Crown success, and also guided Cork Constitution to an AIB League Division One title in 1999. Senior international recognition followed in February 2000 when he debuted for Ireland against Scotland, kicking two penalty goals and two conversions in the process.
He has been Ireland’s first choice fly-half for several years and was instrumental in Munster’s two European Cup successes. Further highlights of his career include scoring a then Six Nations record of 30 points against Italy in 2000, a record-equalling haul of ten conversions against Japan in 2000, Lions tours in 2001 and 2005, playing his part in Ireland’s three recent Triple Crown wins and the 2009 Grand Slam triumph.
He overtook David Humphreys as Ireland’s record points scorer in the 2006 Six Nations opener against Italy, and was the first points and try scorer for Ireland in their first ever outing at Croke Park in 2007 against France.