Womens Rugby
Women’s Cup rugby takes over
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Women’s Cup rugby takes over the Sportsground this Saturday

The Sportsground will be a hub of women’s rugby in the province this Saturday, March 28th, with 3 cup finals being played on the main pitch.

The U15’s Cup final will kick off at 12:30, with defending champions Ballinasloe RFC taking on a newly combined Ballina/Creggs side.

WestwegiansU18’s Cup final follows at 2:00, with Ballina/Creggs featuring again against a very strong Westport/Galwegians team, otherwise known as WestWegian. It will the first time these two sides meet this season, with many of the current Connacht U18’s featuring on both teams involved on the day.

The final game is the Connacht Invitational Cup final, with Buccaneers RFC playing Sligo RFC at 3:30. Both clubs have won the Cup in the past and are both eager to put their hands on a piece of silverware this season.

Wendy Hickey, Women’s Community Rugby Officer , is looking forward to the day. “To have 3 Cup finals in the women’s game  take place in the Sportsground on the same day is fantastic. I would like to wish all the clubs the best of luck in their respective finals, I’m sure we are going to be in for a brilliant day of rugby here in Connacht.”

4 Connacht Girls Selected for Irish Squad
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Ireland Squad announced for Women's RBS 6 Nations 2015 The Ireland Women's Squad (sponsored by AON) ahead of the RBS 6 Nations has been named.

The squad sees a number of new faces, uncapped at international XV a side rugby.

Seven players included in the squad are involved with the Ireland Sevens set-up, including Nicole Cronin, Katie Fitzhenry, Sene Naoupu, Hannah Tyrrell and Megan Williams along with experienced Internationals, Alison Miller and Jenny Murphy.

Speaking of his selection, Director of Sevens and Women's Rugby, Anthony Eddy said "It's a very exciting time for Women's Rugby in Ireland. We have had a number of camps over the past few weeks and have had to make some tough choices reducing the squad to 30 players.”

"It's a new dawn for the women's team with a new coaching set-up, including Head Coach, Tom Tierney and 12 uncapped players named in the squad. That we can bring in this new talent is testament to the work done previously.”

"We are all looking forward to the first game and kicking off a new ear for the Ireland Women's Team”

The squad will play a warm-up game against Wales on Sunday in Ashbourne RFC at 1pm Both of Ireland's home games will be streamed live on

Ireland Women's RBS 6 Nations 2015 Squad

Gillian Bourke (Olympico de Pozzuol/ Selección de Madrid)

Niamh Briggs (UL Bohs/Munster)

Kerrie-Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile)

Nicole Cronin (Shannon RFC/ Munster)*

Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock/Leinster)*

Emma Dunne (Old Belvedere /Leinster)*

Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere /Leinster)

Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Sevens)*

Paula Fitzpatrick (St Marys/Leinster)

Orla Fitzsimons (St Marys/Leinster)

Fiona Hayes (UL Bohs/Munster)

Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)

Sarah Mimnagh (Wasps/Exile)*

Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)

Larissa Muldoon (Skewen RFC)

Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Sene Naoupu (Galwegians/Sevens)*

Katie Norris (Blackrock/Leinster)*

Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster)

Fiona O'Brien (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*

Elise O'Byrne-White (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*

Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht)

Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster)

Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile)

Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Sevens) *

Megan Williams (St Marys/Exile) *

Jade Wong (Richmond/Exiles) *

*Denotes uncapped player at this level

Ireland Women's XV Management

Anthony Eddy - Director of Sevens and Women's Rugby

Tom Tierney - Head Coach Declan O'Brien - Assistant Coach

Derek Dowling - Scrum Coach

Jean Casey -Team Manager

Marian Earls – Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator

Lukasz Kirszenstein – Strength and Conditioning Coach

Brian Fitzgerald -Video Analyst

Lucy Soden - Team Doctor

Ulrik McCarthy - Physio

Dom Hoban - Physio

Nora Ni Fhlannagain - Nutritionist

Carmel O'Dwyer - Squad Co-ordinator

Maria Boland - Media Officer

RBS 6 Nations Ireland Women's Fixtures:

Fri 6 Feb 19:00 Italy v Ireland Stadio Mario Lodigiani

Fri 13 Feb 19:30 Ireland v France Ashbourne RFC

Fri 27 Feb 19:30 Ireland v England Ashbourne RFC

Sun 15 Mar 12:00 Wales v Ireland Swansea RFC

Sun 22 Mar 13:00 Scotland v Ireland Broadwood Stadium


Girls 7's Cup pictures
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A great day was had in Westport RFC recently at the Girls 7's cup final at both U15's and U18's. Ballina, Westport, Portumna, Ballinasloe and a Galwegian/Sligo combo fielded at U15's, with Ballinasloe playing Westport in the final. Both teams fought hard til the end, but Georgia Codyre from Ballinasloe lifted the cup in victory.
At U18's, Tuam, Westport, Ballina, Galwegians/Sligo combo and Ballinasloe competed for the senior cup, resulting in a WestportvBallina final. A great game from both Mayo sides was played, and Ballina were victorious, defeating Westport 15-0.​

Wendy Hickey, Connacnt Women's Development Officer, was delighted with the day. "The 7's competition worked well for Connacht this season because allowed the new clubs to grow their playing numbers by being able to fulfill fixtures on a regular basis. The game has grown immensely here in Connacht over the past few years, which can only bode well for the game in Ireland overall."

Clubs will be taking part in the Connacht Youths League in January which will be followed by a Cup competiton. Anyone interested in taking up rugby in Connacht can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photos (C) Connor McKeown Photography



















Buccaneers Women 14 12 NUIG Womens
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On home turf Buccaneers capitalised on two horrific first-half errors from the NUIG women and at 14nil up at the break, hunkered down into the wind to grind out a hard-won two-point victory in the Connacht Women's League on Sunday.

Without lynchpin midfielder Niamh Ni Dhroma (midweek knee operation) Buccaneers reshuffled livewire looseforward Tina Kiernan to 12 to join fellow backline newbie Hazel Kilduff. Far from embarrassing themselves both Tiernan and Kilduff shone throughout for Buccaneers ably-backed by footballer Fabienne Cooney at 15. 

SorTarpemail500Short a few hard-hitting forwards themselves, NUIG's pack toiled well into the wind but crowded each other in the early stages availing space farther out for the hosts.

NUIG skipper Rhona Julian had a clearance attempt charged on her own 22m. Buccs outhalf Colette McSpadden deftly toed it ahead, regathered on the line to score. She converted her own try.

Apathy and confusion conspired against the visitors for Buccaneers' second where NUIG sauntered back in open space to gather a Buccaneers clearance, found themselves isolated deep within their 22m and were simply caught for numbers too close to their posts. McSpadden again successful with the extras in off the upright.

NUIG opened the second half with the wind and spent all but two six-minute periods inside the Buccs' 40m. That said, Buccaneers withstood assault after assault in their own 22m surrendering a solitary try (and a yellow-card) with stoic goal-line defence. 

The try, a combined forwards-backs effort went to Marie Mongheal on the left wing who beat three in close quarters to crash over grandstand side scoreboard corner. Katie Kilbane gave the conversion every opportunity and was on-target but fell short two metres. 

Kiernan for Buccs carved off 45m with ball-in-hand 10minutes from time but was dragged down short by outhalf-cum-centre Sorcha Tarpey three or four strides from the NUIG goal-line. Kiernan, with Buccs captain and eight Emer Phelan and hooker supersub Mele Kiripati, dominated much of the one-on-one combat from the Midlanders' side; Edel McMahon, Kristen Romes and 

Julian the pick of the crop for the Westerners. NUIG fullback Kilbane (at outhalf for the second spell) quick-tapped on fulltime, covered half a pitch width and scored wide right, five in from touch. It was Buccaneers' frustrations redlining after a soaring second half penalty count against them which let Kilbane skip through a disorganised defence but it was too little too late for the tourists, 14-12 on full-time. 

Connacht Women's team named to face Leinster
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Connacht Women will heed little history tomorrow as they open their campaign against Leinster at Galwegians. While recent results favour the visitors, little separated the two in last week's pre-season clash. The only gaps of any consequence to skipper Ruth O'Reilly tomorrow are those she and her colleagues will seek to exploit.Heather Carey Connacht Womens
"This is a mobile squad. We have a gameplan to suit that mobility, and we've seen glimpses of it against Ulster and Leinster in the past few weeks. 
"We're all confident we can up the ante further and there's no more worthy an occasion than an interpro opener at home," she said.
Buoyed by 2013 Six Nations success and a best ever World Cup finish, Connacht is also riding high. Aside from a Branch contribution, the Women have also secured corporate assistance from Galway-headquartered The City Bin Co. 
And while The City Bin Co.'s iconic red colour scheme suggests allegiance to one of the other camps, marketing and online profile manager Oisin Browne said The City Bin Co. allegiance lay firmly with the locals.
"Women's rugby in Ireland is on the up. Our office is full of rugby fans and we share a common thread with these girls in that they're looking to make history, shake up the status quo, and take on the heavyweights. We wish them all the very best for September and we're right behind them," he said.
Forwards coach George Naoupu, a Super Rugby graduate from rugby stronghold Christchurch, has plied his trade to full effect over two stints with Connacht. Charged with steering the Galwegians Women last winter, he and 12 of this year's interpro squad enjoyed All-Ireland club success in 2014's Cup Championship.
"It's a big jump up in standard from club to rep rugby but it's great so many of this squad have tasted national success. You don't win All-Ireland medals by accident and all those involved know what it took to get there.
"They know they've a few fairly serious weeks ahead but they also know how to build a successful result from 80 short minutes of good footy. You do it in the first minute, and you do it through to the last."

Connacht Women’s Squad to face Leinster (15:00 Crowley Park, Dublin Rd, Galway):

15. Emer O Mahony (Tralee RFC)
14. Niamh Ni Droimha (Buccaneers RFC)
13. Emma Clery (Galwegians RFC)
12. Lisa McDonagh (Galwegians RFC)
11. Jill Draper (Tullamore RFC)
10. Nicole Fowley (Sligo RFC)
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians RFC)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians RFC)
2. Ciara OConnor (Galwegians RFC)
3. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians RFC) CAPTAIN
4. Rita Breen (NUIG)
5. Marion Sheridan (Tuam RFC/ Galwegians RFC)
6. Grainne Egan (St. Mary’s)
7. Heather Cary (Galwegians RFC)
8. Christine Arthurs (Tralee RFC)


16. Jean Moore (Portlaoise RFC)
17. Edel Durkin (Tuam RFC)
18. Edel McMahon (NUIG/ Galwegians RFC)
19. Darwyn O Halloran (Castlebar RFC)
20. Catriona Cassidy (Portlaoise RFC)
21. Rhona Julian (NUIG)
22. Jacqui Mulligan (Sligo RFC)


Manager  Ann Marie Keane

Head Coach Luke O’Donnell

Forwards Coach  George Naoupu

S&C Coach  Martin Mc Kiernan

Video Analyst James Flaus

Physiotherapist  Maria Farrell


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