Womens Rugby
Connacht Women's AGM
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The AGM of the Women’s Committee of the Connacht Branch of the IRFU will be held in Galwegians RFC, Dublin Road, Galway on Tuesday 12th August at 7.30pm.

Coach required for Buccs Women
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Coach required for Buccaneers Ladies team 2014-2015

Please apply with CV to

Geraldine Kenny


Buccaneers RFC

Dubarry Park



Co. Westmeath

Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Connacht Players in the mix for national selection
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An extended training squad of 24 players has been announced for the Ireland Girls Sevens side that will participate in the UK School Games and FIRA Under-18 Tournament in September. The squad was selected following an extensive screening process involving 200 girls in all four provinces that also included an opportunity for the attendees to learn new skills. Six of the current squad were in the side that finished fourth in the UK School Games last year - Erin Caughey, Meabh Donohue, Irene Herlihy, Mairead Hopkins, Shannen Lane and Jayne Pennefeather. Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, who was also part of that squad, was subsequently selected in the Ireland Women's Sevens squad for the IRB Women's Sevens World Series this season.

IRELAND UNDER-18 GIRLS SEVENS Training Squad: Chloe Aherne (Munster) Chloe Blackmore (Carrick on Suir/Munster) Erin Caughey (Malone/Ulster) Eimear Corri (Portlaoise/Leinster) Kathryn Dane (Enniskillen/Ulster) Meabh Donohue (Tullow/Leinster) Kate English (Carrick-on-Suir/Munster) Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster) Marie Hanrahan (Malone/Ulster) Irene Herlihy (Mallow/Munster) Kayleigh Hopkins (Ballina/Connacht) Mairead Hopkins (Ballina/Connacht) Jessica Hunt (Wicklow/Leinster) Meaghan Kenny (Navan/Leinster) Shannen Lane (Cavan/Ulster) Zoe Lynch (Carrick-on-Suir/Munster) Molly McCabe (Westmanstown/Leinster) Hannagh McKay (Railway Union/Leinster) Meabh O'Brien (Naas/Leinster) Elsie O'Connor (Rockwell College/Munster) Aisling O'Hagan (Thurles/Munster) Yvonne O'Shead (Bantry Bay/Munster) Jayne Pennefeather (Carrigaline/Munster) Louise Scally (Cill Dara/Leinster)

Plenty to celebrate in season of highs
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The end of the 2013/14 season has arrived, extended only for our to be confirmed representatives at this summer’s IRB Women’s World Cup and the remaining World and European Sevens tournaments.

While training increases for the elite minority, the rest of the province can look forward to a short rest period before the inevitable pre-season training and planning in a mere few weeks’ time. However, there’s the small matter of the annual awards season to navigate and with our clubs pushing boundaries like never before, there will be many achievements to celebrate over the following weeks.

Ruth O’Reilly (Connacht Club Player of the Year) and Clare Raftery (Connacht Senior Player of the Year) may have taken the accolades at last week’s Connacht Rugby awards, but their achievements are just a snapshot of the province’s growth and increasing competitiveness. Below are some of the highlights of Connacht Women’s Rugby this season –

New chapter begins for Connacht

One point from their interprovincial campaign may not seem like something to celebrate, but their draw against Ulster in December ended Connacht’s eight match losing streak and heralded a break in habit for the talented side. Bolstered by the experience of captain Ruth O’Reilly, Clare Raftery, and Emma Clery, the side was rejuvenated by an influx of new players such as Mairead Coyne, Edel McMahon and Mary Healy, and strengthened with the coming-of-age of key players Tanala Kehoe and Lisa McDonagh; their 3-try opening display against Munster a highlight, and an indication of what this team is now capable of.

Naoupu sets precedent for women’s club rugby

A mid-table women’s AIL club is not usually the first port of call for aspiring coaches with a professional playing background. Enter George Naoupu, Sportsground favourite and tactical mastermind who, in his first season at the helm at Galwegians RFC, guided the team to a second All-Ireland Cup title in three seasons with a pulsating 26-18 win over holders Highfield RFC. Given that only six of his current crop of players contested the 2012 final, and that seven squad members had only one season of rugby or less under their belts, makes this achievement all the more remarkable.

The rise and rise of Castlebar RFC

From seemingly nowhere, Castlebar RFC rampaged through their provincial season, claiming the Connacht League title in their first competitive season. While their run in the Connacht Invitational Cup came to an agonising end at The Sportsgrounds in March, losing 5-3 to Tullamore RFC, the Mayo ladies, led by the imperious Caroline Staunton, have set the benchmark for newly established clubs far beyond Connacht’s borders.

NUIG RFC see silver lining

The difficulty with intervarsity sports has traditionally been the high turnover of players once students graduate and leave academia behind. This has undoubtedly been a factor for the women of NUIG RFC, a highly organised outfit under the auspices of OLBC’s Simon Lawless and Luke O’Donnell in recent seasons. However, they realised their obvious potential this season, finally clasping their hands on national silverware, claiming the Kay Bowen Trophy in December, and leading the way for an extremely successful season for the club.

Innovative alliance secures rugby in the north-west

Women’s rugby can be a precarious venture, with even the most established teams threatened with immigration, impending motherhood, and a lack of new recruits. This was the situation facing Carrick-on-Shannon RFC and Longford RFC, who ended the season as the Canterbury Warriors RFC, an amalgamation of the remains of the two teams coached by Alan Portuby
and Damien Curley. Competitive from the outset, inflicting Castlebar’s only league defeat, they also claimed the Connacht Invitational Plate title in Dangan in March, a just reward for the group’s unflinching desire to play.

New Kids on the Block

….those kids being Ballinalsoe’s u-15 side, captained by Georgia Codyre, who claimed their age-group league and cup double this season in sublime fashion. Their defeat of Westport RFC, accustomed to provincial silverware, in the cup final demonstrated the growth of the game in the region, and the obvious talent and capabilities of these young athletes. Should this trend continue, one can only delight at the province’s future prospects.

Our girls in green

There might not have been another Grand Slam to celebrate but Alison Miller and Clare Molloy made history yet again this year, as part of the first women’s match to be played in the Aviva when Ireland steamrolled Italy to a bonus point victory. A World Cup awaits both (and perhaps a few more of their provincial colleagues) in August. Before then, Connacht fans can behold the growing talent of Sevens star Niamh ni Dhroma who, with interprovincial team mate Christine Arthurs, were part of the first Irish squad to compete at the Women’s Sevens World Series bringing them from Dubai to America to China in their quest for Olympic qualification. And with 16 year old Mairead Hopkins from Ballina earning her first taste if international action on the Irish Schools International team this season, for the time being at least, the future looks green.


Connacht Women In WRWC Training Squad
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Philip Doyle, coach of the Ireland Women's Rugby team has named an extended 33 player Rugby World Cup training squad ahead of the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup in Marcoussis, France this coming August.
The most notable absentee from the squad is scrum-half Amy Davis who is ruled out through injury.  There are seven additions to the squad that competed in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations earlier in the year – Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Vickie McGinn (Blackrock/Leinster), Sarah Mimnagh(Richmond/Exile), Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster) and Juliet Short (Newcastle/Exile).
Niamh Briggs, Lynne Cantwell and Fiona Coghlan are also named in the training squad.  Ireland Women face defending champions New Zealand, USA and Kazakhstan in Pool B.  Ireland kick-off their World Cup campaign against the USA on Friday 1st August at 16:00.  Next up is New Zealand on Tuesday 5th August at 17:00 with their final pool game against Kazakhstan on Saturday 9th August at 12:00.
Philip Doyle, Ireland Women's Head Coach, commented, "Over the coming months we will host a number of training camps in preparation for the World Cup.  We played some pretty good rugby during the 6 Nations but we will need to find another level if we are to compete with the world's best sides.”
IRELAND Training Squad for IRB Women's Rugby World Cup 
Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Lynne Cantwell (Richmond /Exile)
Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile)
Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster)
Kerri Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile)
Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster)
Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's/Leinster)
Orla Fitzsimmons (St. Mary's/Leinster)
Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht)
Ashling Hutchings (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster)
Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Vickie McGinn (Blackrock/Leinster)
Alison Miller (Portlaoise RFC/UCC/Connacht)
Sarah Mimnagh (Richmond/Exile)
Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile)
Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Heather O' Brien (Highfield/Munster)
Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht)
Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster)
Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile)
Juliet Short (Newcastle/Exile)
Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
IRB Women's World Cup IRELAND Women's Fixtures
Marcoussis 2; 16:00 (17:00 local time)
Friday 1st August, 2014
Marcoussis 1; 17:00 (18:00 local time)
Tuesday 5th August, 2014
IRELAND WOMEN v Kazakhstan
Marcoussis 2; 12:00 (13:00 local time)
Saturday 9th August, 2014

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