St Mary's women aim for bright future in AIL
With just under a year until the Women's Rugby World Cup kick-off, when Ireland will hope to exploit home advantage to better its incredible fourth place in the 2014 competition, St Mary's College RFC has taken a long-term vision of developing the women's game, from minis to senior level, as part of its new club development plan.
A core squad boasting a number of current internationals including Paula Fitzpatrick, who returns to Templeville Road having spent last season plying her trade in the French Premiership, are currently in training, joined by new recruits and beginners to the game.
The squad is filled with a number of players who arrived from other codes, such as GAA, soccer, and athletics, all of whom have transitioned effortlessly to the sport.
With former senior captain and Leinster cap Sarah Brennan among the coaching set-up of the club's U-18 side, the future looks bright for the women of St Mary's.
"St Mary's are really investing in developing the women's game. Ahead of the World Cup year, we are really targeting development of both the individuals and the club as a result," says head coach of the women's team Philip Lynch.
Lynch, himself an AIL medal winner at scrum-half with St Mary's in 2000, is joined by Gareth Logan, another AIL winner with St Mary's in 2012, who has come on board as forwards coach for the coming season.
Meanwhile, Ian Robinson will be responsible for the backs having guided last season's squad to victory in both the Leinster and All-Ireland Plate Championships.
"Everything is in place for players to develop, succeed and, most importantly, enjoy their rugby," Lynch continues.
"So players looking to enjoy, develop their game more, and those with representative aspirations will be accommodated, and given all the support and expertise necessary."
For more information on joining the club, or getting involved in the women's game, contact: Philip Lynch 089-2195899, or visit www.stmaryscollegerfc.com and St Mary's Women's Rugby Team on Facebook.