Irish Women’s Rugby Team – meet the players

Meet the women representing Ireland at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, with the first match at 4pm this evening.

Irish Women’s Rugby Team – meet the players

Picture: INPHO

Meet the women representing Ireland at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, with the first match at 4pm this evening.

Props

Fiona Coghlan

Picture: INPHO

Coghlan is Ireland’s captain and one of the most-capped players. She plays her club rugby with UL Bohemians and represents Leinster at provincial level.

Kerri Ann Craddock

Picture: INPHO

Craddock is a secondary school teacher in London and plays her club rugby with Saracens. The 29-year-old is playing in her first World Cup.

Ailis Egan

Picture: INPHO

30-year-old Egan plays her club rugby with Old Belvedere and also plays at provincial level with Leinster.

Fiona Hayes

Picture: INPHO

Hayes was very successful playing soccer when she was younger and only turned to rugby aged 24. She now plays alongside captain Coghlan at UL Bohemians and is looking forward to her first World Cup.

Hookers

Gillian Bourke

Picture: SPORTSFILE

Bourke is 29 and also lines out for UL Bohemians and Munster. She can play as both prop and hooker and outside of rugby is also a keen show-jumper.

Sharon Lynch

Picture: INPHO

31-year-old Lynch also came late to rugby, only taking up the sport at 25. The Kerry native now plays at club level with Old Belvedere and has also played for Leinster.

Locks

Orla Fitzsimons

Picture: INPHO

32-year-old Fitzsimons plays club rugby with St Mary’s College and also plays with Leinster at provincial level.

Marie Louise Reilly

Picture: INPHO

Reilly is 34 and also represented Ireland during the 2010 World Cup. She works as a sports development officer and plays with Old Belvedere.

Sophie Spence

Picture: INPHO

27-year-old Spence plays alongside Reilly at Old Belvedere. She also plays with Leinster and works for them as a community development officer.

Back Rows

Paula Fitzpatrick

Picture: INPHO

Fitzpatrick is 28 and plays her club rugby with St Mary’s College. She also plays with Leinster and has previously won their women’s player of the year award.

Siobhan Fleming

Picture: INPHO

32-year-old Fleming plays her rugby with Tralee. She is another latecomer to the sport, having represented Kerry in Gaelic football before turning to rugby.

Laura Guest

Picture: SPORTSFILE

This is Guest’s third time representing Ireland in a World Cup. The 29-year-old is a secondary school teacher and coach in Midleton and plays club rugby with Highfield.

Claire Molloy

Picture: INPHO

Molloy is 26 and plays at club level with Bristol Rugby. She has also appeared in a previous World Cup, in 2010 and in 2012 was Ireland women’s player of the year.

Heather O'Brien

Picture: INPHO

North Cork native O’Brien is a physiotherapist and plays her club rugby with Highfield. The 30-year-old is also captain of the Munster women’s team.

Scrumhalfs

Larissa Muldoon

Picture: INPHO

Donegal native 23-year-old Muldoon is playing in her first World Cup. She plays at club level with Bristol Rugby.

Tania Rosser

Picture: INPHO

Tania Rosser has played previously World Cups in 2006 and 2010. The 36-year-old plays with Blackrock and has come out of international retirement for this World Cup.

Flyhalf

Nora Stapleton

Picture: INPHO

31-year-old Stapleton also played for Ireland in World Cup 2010. She plays with Old Belvedere and Leinster at provincial level.

Centres

Lynne Cantwell

Picture: INPHO

Cantwell is a physiotherapist who plays club rugby with Richmond. The 32-year-old is one of Ireland’s most capped players and won the inaugural Guinness Rugby Writer's Women's Player of the Year in 2011.

Hannah Casey

Picture: INPHO

This is Casey’s first World Cup, having only received her first Ireland cap in January. The 25-year-old plays her club rugby with Saracens.

Grace Davitt

Picture: INPHO

Davitt is 31 and works as a maintenance technician. The Ulster native plays club rugby with Cooke and also represented Ireland in the World Cup in 2006.

Jenny Murphy

Picture: INPHO

Murphy had major successes playing soccer before she turned to rugby, including winning the women’s FAI Cup. This is the 25-year-old first World Cup and she plays club rugby with Old Belvedere.

Jackie Shiels

Picture: INPHO

29-year-old Shiels plays for Richmond and also appeared in World Cup 2010. The teacher plays club football with Richmond.

Wing

Alison Miller

Picture: INPHO

29-year-old Miller plays on the wing and lines out for Portlaoise at club level. The Laois native scored a hat-trick during their Grand Slam run in 2013 and will be hoping for more success in France.

Fullbacks

Ashleigh Baxter

Picture: INPHO

22-year-old Baxter is from Belfast and plays her club football with Belfast Harlequins. She also plays with Ulster at provincial level.

Niamh Briggs

Picture: INPHO

Garda Briggs is 29 and now plays with UL Bohemians. She can play out half but lines out at fullback for Ireland.

Vikki McGinn

Picture: INPHO

29-year-old fullback McGinn plays club rugby with Blackrock and for Leinster at provincial level.

Ireland have been given a very tough draw in Group B as they face reigning champions New Zealand as well as the USA and Kazakhstan.

They will have it all to do to make the semi-finals but as one runner-up from the group stages will get there it is not out of the question.

Ireland will be hoping for a big performance against the USA this evening to give their campaign the best possible start. They then face four-time champions New Zealand on Tuesday and finish the group phase with the match against Kazakhstan on August 9.

A tough task but but not an impossible one and all best wishes to the team from all of us here.

All Ireland’s group matches will be shown live on TG4.

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