Ireland women's national rugby union team

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Ireland
Shirt badge/Association crest
EmblemShamrock
UnionIrish Rugby Football Union
Head coachGreg McWilliams
Home stadiumDonnybrook Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current7 (as of 18 April 2022)
First international
 Scotland 10–0 Ireland 
(Raeburn Place 14 February 1993)
Biggest win
 Scotland 3–73 Ireland 
(Broadwood Stadium 22 March 2015)
Biggest defeat
 England 79–0 Ireland 
(Worcester, England 17 February 2002)
World Cup
Appearances6 (First in 1994)
Best resultFourth, 2014
Websitewww.irishrugby.ie

The Ireland women's national rugby union team represents Ireland in international women's rugby union competitions such as the Women's Six Nations Championship and the Women's Rugby World Cup. They have also represented Ireland in the FIRA Women's European Championship. Ireland won the 2013 and 2015 Women's Six Nations Championships. In 2013 they also achieved both a Triple Crown and Grand Slam. They finished fourth in the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup after defeating New Zealand in the pool stages. Ireland hosted the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup. The team was originally organised by the Irish Women's Rugby Football Union. However, since 2009 it has been organised by the Irish Rugby Football Union

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The Irish Women's Rugby Football Union was established in 1991.[1] Ireland made their international debut on 14 February 1993 with an away friendly against Scotland. This was also Scotland's first international. The match was played at Raeburn Place in front of a crowd of over 1,000. The Ireland team was coached by Alain Rolland while the Scotland coaches included Sandy Carmichael. Scotland won 10–0 with two tries from their captain, Sandra Colamartino. Ireland's first captain was Jill Henderson. A year later, on 13 February 1994, Ireland made their home international debut when a return match was played at Ravenhill. This time Scotland won 5–0.[2][3][4] In 2001 the IWRFU became affiliated to the Irish Rugby Football Union, in 2008 it effectively merged with the IRFU and since 2009 the IRFU has managed the women's national team.[1][4][5]

Rugby World Cup[edit]

Ireland have competed in every Women's Rugby World Cup since making their debut in the second tournament in 1994. They made their World Cup debut on 13 April 1994 with an 18–5 win against a Scottish Students XV. This was also Ireland's first competitive match in any competition.

Ireland's best performance at a World Cup tournament came in 2014 when they finished fourth after defeating New Zealand and winning Pool B. After defeating the United States 23–17 in their opening pool game, Ireland faced New Zealand, the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup winners in their second game. With tries from Heather O'Brien and Alison Miller and two conversions and a penalty from Niamh Briggs, Ireland defeated New Zealand 17–14. It was just the second match New Zealand had lost in a World Cup tournament. It was the first time the Ireland women had played New Zealand and they became only the second Irish team, after Munster in 1978, to defeat a New Zealand national rugby union team.[6][7][8] The result has been described as "one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history".[9] Ireland subsequently qualified for the semi-finals with a 40–5 win against Kazakhstan.[10][11] Ireland eventually finished fourth in the tournament after losing 18–25 to France in the third place play-off.[12]

They failed to qualify for the 2022 Rugby World Cup, after ending in third place of the qualifying round of September 2021 in Italy.

Six Nations Championship[edit]

National anthem line-up during the 2015 Women's Six Nations Championship

Ireland made their debut in the Women's Six Nations Championship, then known as the Women's Home Nations Championship, in the inaugural 1996 competition. They played their first game against Scotland on 21 January 1996.[2] During the 1990s and early 2000s, Ireland never challenged for the championship. They regularly finished in the wooden spoon position at the bottom of the table. Before winning their first championship in 2013, the highest position they ever finished in the competition was third. They did not enter in 2000 and 2001 and were replaced by Spain. When Ireland returned in 2002, the competition became known as the Six Nations for the first time. In 2002 Ireland also suffered their biggest ever defeat when they lost 79–0 to England. Ireland won their first Six Nations match in 2005 when they defeated Wales 11–6.[1] Ireland defeated Scotland for the first time on 10 March 2007 with an 18–6 win at Meggetland.[2] In 2009 Ireland defeated France for the first time.[13]

Ireland won their first championship in 2013, winning both a Triple Crown and a Grand Slam at the same time. In their opening match of the campaign, Ireland beat Wales 12–10. Then on 9 February 2013 they defeated England for the first time. Alison Miller scored a hat-trick of tries as Ireland won 25–0. On 23 February 2013 they clinched their first Triple Crown with a 30–3 win against Scotland.[14][15][16] On 8 March 2013 Ireland effectively won the championship after they defeated France 15–10. It was confirmed the following day after Italy failed to defeat England.[17][18] Ireland eventually finished four points clear of runners-up France.[19] Ireland secured the Grand Slam with a 6–3 away win against Italy on Saint Patrick's Day. Two penalties from Niamh Briggs gave Ireland their fifth win in a row.[19][20][21]

In 2015, Ireland won their second championship and second Triple Crown in three years. They won the championship on points difference over France, after both teams had won four of their five matches. Ireland had to win their final game, against Scotland, by a margin of 27 points or more to win the title and achieved this with a 73–3 win. The result is also Ireland's biggest ever win.[22][23][24]

FIRA Women's European Championship[edit]

Ireland has also competed in the FIRA Women's European Championship. They first played in the tournament in 1997. Their best performance in this tournament was a third-place finish in 2008. In 2004 they won the Plate competition after defeating Spain 20–12 in the final.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

38-player squad for 2022 Women's Six Nations Championship.[25][26]

Player Position Caps Club/Province
Amanda McQuade Prop 0 Railway Union RFC
Katie O'Dwyer Prop 5 Railway Union RFC
Chloe Pearse Lock 2 UL Bohemian RFC
Linda Djougang Prop 17 ASM Romagnat Rugby
Christy Haney Prop 0 Blackrock College RFC
Claire Boles Flanker 3 Railway Union RFC
Emma Hooban Hooker 8 Blackrock College RFC
Neve Jones Hooker 6 Gloucester-Hartpury
Nichola Fryday (c) [27] Lock 22 Exeter Chiefs
Sam Monaghan Lock 5 Wasps
Aoife McDermott Lock 18 Railway Union RFC
Anna McGann Flanker 0 Railway Union RFC
Grace Moore Flanker 1 Railway Union RFC
Dorothy Wall Flanker 10 Blackrock College RFC
Aoife Wafer Flanker 0 Blackrock College RFC
Brittany Hogan Flanker 7 Old Belvedere RFC
Emma Murphy Flanker 0 Railway Union RFC
Edel McMahon Flanker 14 Wasps
Maeve Óg O’Leary Flanker 1 Blackrock College RFC
Hannah O’Connor Number 8 7 Blackrock College RFC
Aoibheann Reilly Scrumhalf 0 Blackrock College RFC
Kathryn Dane Scrumhalf 18 Old Belvedere RFC
Ailsa Hughes Scrumhalf 13 Railway Union RFC
Nicole Cronin Scrumhalf 16 UL Bohemian RFC
Nikki Caughey Centre 13 Railway Union RFC
Enya Breen Centre 9 UL Bohemian RFC
Stacey Flood Flyhalf 7 Railway Union RFC
Michelle Claffey Centre 12 Blackrock College RFC
Eve Higgins Centre 6 Railway Union RFC
Lucy Mulhall Flyhalf 1 Wicklow RFC
Beibhinn Parsons Wing 15 Blackrock College RFC
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crow Wing 6 Railway Union RFC
Aoife Doyle Wing 7 Railway Union RFC
Natasja Behan Fullback 0 Blackrock College RFC
Lauren Delany Fullback 18 Sale Sharks
Eimear Considine Wing 23 UL Bohemian RFC
Molly Scuffil-McCabe Scrumhalf 0 Railway Union RFC
Vicky Irwin Centre 0 Sale Sharks

Records[edit]

Top 20 rankings as of 18 April 2022[28]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  England 096.26
2 Steady  New Zealand 088.58
3 Steady  France 088.43
4 Steady  Canada 088.15
5 Steady  Australia 078.68
6 Steady  United States 076.63
7 Increase1  Ireland 076.00
8 Decrease1  Italy 075.12
9 Steady  Wales 073.63
10 Steady  Scotland 072.72
11 Steady  Spain 072.10
12 Steady  Japan 065.49
13 Steady  South Africa 063.39
14 Steady  Russia 061.10
15 Steady  Samoa 059.72
16 Steady  Kazakhstan 058.45
17 Steady  Netherlands 058.27
18 Steady  Hong Kong 057.89
19 Steady  Sweden 057.73
20 Steady  Germany 057.72
*Change from the previous week

Overall[edit]

See List of Ireland women's national rugby union team matches

Full internationals only

Correct as of 21 November 2021[29]

Against First game Played Won Drawn Lost Win %
 Australia 1998 4 1 0 3 25.00%
 Canada 2002 3 1 0 2 33.33%
 England 1996 29 2 0 27 06.90%
 France 1993 29 3 1 25 10.34%
 Germany 1997 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 Italy 1997 20 18 0 2 90.00%
 Japan 1994 5 4 0 1 80%
 Kazakhstan 1998 5 2 0 3 40.00%
 Netherlands 1998 3 3 0 0 100.00%
 New Zealand 2014 2 1 0 1 50.00%
 Samoa 2002 1 0 0 1 0.00%
 Scotland 1993 30 14 0 16 46.67%
 South Africa 2006 1 1 0 0 100.00%
 Spain 1997 10 4 0 6 40.00%
 United States 1994 8 3 0 5 37.50%
 Wales 1996 28 13 0 15 46.42%
Total 1993 181 73 1 107 40.33%

Six Nations[edit]

 England  France  Ireland  Italy  Scotland  Spain  Wales
Tournaments 27 24 25 16 27 7 27
Outright Wins 18 6 2 0 1 0 0
Grand Slams 16 5 1 0 1 0 0
Triple Crowns 22 2 1 1
Wooden Spoons 0 0 5 3 9 2 6

Head coaches[edit]

Years
Alain Rolland[3] 1993
Johnnie Neary 1998
Philip Doyle 2003–2006
John O’Sullivan 2006–2008
Steven Hennessy[13] 2009–2010
Kevin West 2010–2012
Philip Doyle2012-2014
Tom Tierney 2014–2017
Adam Griggs[30][31] 2017–2021
Greg McWilliams[32] 2021–

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "'Women who participated in other traditional 'male' sports used to be regarded as some sort of sexual deviants'". The Irish Independent. 6 August 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Ireland and Scotland celebrate 25 years". scrumqueens.com. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Pioneers celebrate 25th anniversary of first Scotland women's international". theoffsideline.com. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Women's Teams Reunite To Mark 25th Anniversary". irishrugby.ie. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Ireland's new Call". The Irish Independent. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Black Ferns lose historic match to Ireland". allblacks.com. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup 2014: Ireland stun four-time champions New Zealand". The Daily Telegraph. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Irish women's rugby team record historic win over New Zealand". The Irish Independent. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Women's Rugby World Cup: The story so far". rwcwomens.com. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Ireland crush Kazakhstan to book World Cup semi-final spot". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  11. ^ "The history makers: behind the scenes with Ireland's women". BBC. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  12. ^ "France too strong for Ireland in playoffs". emeraldrugby.com. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Women Secure First Ever Victory Over France". irishrugby.ie. 6 February 2009. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  14. ^ "Miller hat-trick hands Ireland historic win over England". sixnationsrugby.com. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Women's Six Nations: Ireland beat Scotland to win Triple Crown". BBC. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  16. ^ "In pictures: Ireland's women capture first ever Triple Crown". the42.ie. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Ireland sink France to close in on RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam". sixnationsrugby.com. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Ireland v France – Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship Photos". sportsfile.com. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Women's Six Nations: Champions Ireland complete Grand Slam". BBC. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Grand Slam Glory For Ireland Women". irishrugby.ie. 17 March 2013. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Narrow win secures Grand Slam for Irish women". The Irish Times. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Women's Six Nations: Ireland hammer Scotland to clinch title". BBC. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Biggest Ever Win Seals Six Nations Title For Ireland Women". irishrugby.ie. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Ireland Women Crowned 6 Nations Champions". leinsterrugby.ie. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  25. ^ World, Rugby (4 March 2022). "Ireland Women's Six Nations Squad 2022". Rugby World. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  26. ^ "Moloney omitted from Ireland squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Irish Rugby | Nichola Fryday Named Ireland Captain For TikTok Women's Six Nations". Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Women's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  29. ^ "Fixtures & Results". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Griggs Appointed Ireland Women's Head Coach". irishrugby.ie. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  31. ^ "IRFU Update On Ireland Women's Head Coach Position". irishrugby.ie. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  32. ^ "Greg McWilliams". irishrugby.ie. Retrieved 5 February 2022.