Railway Union Girls Rugby

railway Rugby Photo

Girls Rugby is going strong at Railway Union, with girls between 13 and 18 playing at both U18 and U15 in the Leinster League.

“We are the only club in Dublin with girls age-grade teams,” said Head of Girls Rugby Alison Nolan, “and almost all of our girls are taking up rugby for the first time. Our coaches are highly qualified and the coaching is led by Mere Baker, the most highly qualified female coach in Ireland and one of the most decorated female players in the game. She is assisted by IRFU-qualified coaches Blaise Kenny and Barry Kiely.”

Baker is a world cup winner, having played 15s, 7s and rugby league for her native New Zealand, as well as winning six Hong Kong 7s titles in a row. “Our away games are outside Dublin, which means we travel on the team bus and the girls absolutely love it. The bus trips themselves have become legendary, with one trip to Kilkenny involving a celebratory stop-off at the chocolate factory in Tullow on the way back.”

“The opportunities for girls in rugby are huge, with a number of our girls representing Leinster and Ireland already, and in places such as the UK, Portugal, America and Brazil, and these are girls who’ve just taken up the game. Of course, the big opportunity is to represent Ireland at the Olympics in Rio 2016. And there are girls who are reading this now, or whose parents or relations are reading this, who will do just that,” said Nolan.

Railway U18 Girls Captain Kate Hegarty said rugby was a hugely enjoyable sport for girls. “I’ve played lot of sports previously and this is my first year playing rugby, as it is with almost all of the girls. It’s so much fun to play and there is a huge focus on skill, speed, agility and decision-making. There’s a great camaraderie amongst the girls and we’ve done lots of stuff outside of the rugby, like the chocolate factory, participating in the Great Railway Bake-off, and handing out flyers for Leinster camps and going to Leinster games afterwards, and our Charity Carol Singing at the Aviva Stadium in aid of St Michael’s House,” said Hegarty.

Training takes place every Tuesday at 6pm to 7pm and new players are especially welcome.

Above: Railway Union RFC Under 18s Girls team celebrate after a win in the Leinster League.

By Kirstin Smith