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Paula hooks top award

PAULA Fitzpatrick is the kind of person any club would be lucky to have.

She has dedicated many hours every week to perfecting her game. A talented player, Paula is a natural 10 and has held this position for her club St Mary's College over the last number of years.

Paula has captained the team for a number of seasons and her goal was to take her game to the next level. She had been in the Leinster squad for a few years but had not nailed down her place on the starting XV.

When Leinster coach Dan Van Zyl saw Paula throwing a few lineout balls he knew he had found the person to replace retiring Yvonne Nolan at hooker.

Paula immediately applied herself to the new role and moved to 2 for her club for experience.

Paula's role in helping Leinster win the interprovincials propelled her into the Irish set-up. She got the nod to start against Scotland and described it as "a dream come true".

Paula's ambition for next season is to rehabilitate her injury and "push on". Paula's hard work was rewarded with being honoured by Leinster when they named her the Leinster women's player of the year.

Paula said: "I have no idea why I was singled out.

"It was a team effort to win the interpros." That sums up Paula. The kind of person any club would be lucky to have.