Player Focus: Katie Heffernan - Superstitious Heffernan eyes senior breakthrough
Player Focus: Katie Heffernan Mullingar RFC
Katie Heffernan, of Mullingar RFC, is a star of Leinster's under-18 panel and played for the Ireland sevens this year. She tells us why she loves rugby.
Q. What is your favourite thing about rugby?
Meeting new people and learning new skills. I also love the physical and tackling part of the game. I play full-back and second centre.
Q. What has been your proudest moment on the pitch?
Scoring my first international try during the under-18 sevens European competition in Belgium. We beat Italy 21-12 and it was my first try for Ireland. I have now scored five tries for my country.
Q. Do you have any pre-match rituals?
If I have an away match, I always eat something, usually biscuits. Every game before leaving the dressing room, I double-knot the laces on my boots and adjust my socks.
Q. What was it like to be selected for the Ireland under-18 panel and to play in the Ireland jersey?
It was a dream come true. I never thought I would wear the green jersey. I was delighted when I heard I had been selected and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Q. Do you play any other sports?
I play camogie and football. I have played camogie from a young age with my local club, St Munna's CC, and also with Westmeath minors and juniors.
Q. What are your playing ambitions for the future?
Hopefully I will be selected for Leinster and Ireland next year as I am still under-age. I hope to play with the Mullingar Heifers when I turn 18. My overall ambition is to play in the Irish and Leinster jerseys at senior level.
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Q. What would you say to a girl your age thinking of taking up rugby?
I would recommend rugby to any girl at any age. I'd encourage her to give it a try by going to one or two training sessions. I'd tell her girls of any shape or size can play rugby. I'd tell her about what rugby has to offer and that it is a great game to play.