Tony is a former Irish rugby union player who played Prop. He was one of the heaviest men playing professional rugby, weighing in at 21 st 10 lbs or 138 kilograms (305 lbs). He wore size 16 boots which had to be custom made for him in Germany.

In April 2007, Buckley was named in the Irish squad for a tour of Argentina. He was listed among the replacements in the matchday XXII for the first test in Santa Fé on 26 May, during which he gained his first of two caps on the tour. Buckley’s competitive debut came in the 2008 Six Nations Championship, when he was introduced for last 10 minutes of Ireland’s opening fixture against Italy on 2 February 2008. He scored his first international try a year later against Canada on 24 May 2009, during the summer tour of North America.