Former Clare dual GAA star Eimear Considine revealed yesterday she was surprised to be handed her 15s international debut at half-time in Ireland’s dramatic Women’s Six Nations victory against Scotland last Friday.
The Kilmihil native was delighted to make the step-up from sevens level in a tense battle at Broadwood Stadium, but wasn’t expecting to be called into action so early in such a tight game.
“To get my first cap for 15s is really, really good. It was really different to the sevens experience, especially with it being on RTÉ. It was really hyped up, and a lot different to the sevens,” Considine said.
“We were warming up for the first half, and the strength-and-conditioning coach Ed [Slattery] said to me: ‘Be ready for half-time.’ Then, I was like: ‘Oh God, I have to be ready.’ Not that we underestimated Scotland, but the last few years results have gone our way pretty easily.
“I expected to maybe get 10 minutes at the end, when we had the game won. I didn’t ever expect to come on at half-time, being five points down.”
Despite only making her debut for Munster in last December’s Women’s Interprovincial Series, Considine was named as one of five uncapped players in Tom Tierney’s squad for the 2017 championship.
Incredibly, the Scotland game was only the fourth game she has played at 15s level, but thanks to the guidance of UL Bohemian winger Niamh Kavanagh, Considine (an All-Ireland intermediate football winner with Clare in 2009) knew what to expect.
“I’ve only played the three interpros games at 15s, and the game against Scotland. I haven’t even played any club games with [UL] Bohs or anything yet. I’ve kind of just been thrown straight into it. On the inside of me in the Munster squad, Niamh Kavanagh was the outside centre. I was like: ‘Keep shouting at me, keeping roaring at me, telling me where I’m supposed me, what I’m supposed to do.’ She was really good in the Munster games. They all were really good.
“You’re expected to know these things when you come as far as the Irish set-up. In fairness, those three games, the interpros, did suit me to get experience,” added Considine.
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