The Women's Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour kicked off in style this week with the backing of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, as it began a series of visits to every county in Ireland.
"I started playing a little bit of tag rugby and then took up the full contact game and never looked back" Shirelle, playing for 6 years with Cooke RFC
"I play rugby because it's a challenge but it's also great fun" Caoimhe, playing for 6 months with Cooke RFC.
Adult rugby is growing across Ireland and we tend to see up to 1000 new adults try the sport each year. Rugby is about fun, fitness and friends. It is a social sport that anyone can play. If you decide to give it a try in your local club you'll find players of all shapes and sizes, different playing abilities and fitness levels. You'll find a group of highly enthusiastic ladies who want to be part of a team sport and have fun along the way.
The adult game in Ireland is usually 15-a-side rugby, however, at times, developing sides may play down to 10 aside. This stage is about maximising the potential of the player and providing a game which assists with a player's development all the way through to the National team if that's where her path may lead. However, it's not all about being the best and playing for Ireland. Rugby is a sociable game; more women are playing because rugby clubs have welcoming, family atmospheres, and the sport is a great way to get fit. Many clubs go on tours to play in tournaments abroad, so it's also a great excuse to do some travelling.
Seven's rugby is also growing with most clubs playing in tournaments throughout the summer so no matter what time of year, there is always a way for you to get involved.
Due to the embryonic stage of development in the female game, adult rugby tends to see a lot of new beginner players joining clubs. These 'Late Beginners' are essential to the growth of the game and clubs are encouraged to introduce them to the skills of rugby in a safe and enjoyable manner. No experience is necessary and you don't have to be a member of a club, just pop out to one of the open days in the clubs, or a training session, and give it a try.
Click here to download more information on introducing 'Late Beginners' to rugby.
Remember to pack a gum shield and after that it's whatever you are comfortable in. As all rugby in Ireland is played on grass, you will eventually have to purchase a pair of football boots. However, most players starting off will wear runners. If in doubt, just ask the club and they'll be more than happy to advise you. On occasions, most clubs will probably lend you football boots to get you started.