Former Munster and Ireland forward Laura Guest has been confirmed as the new head coach of the Munster Women’s squad for the 2017/18 season.
Laura Guest, who worked for the last five seasons as head coach of Highfield Women, will step into the role, and has a career’s worth of rugby experience to share with her group of players who are looking to recapture the Interprovincial title they last won two years ago.
The Templebryan native began her rugby career with Clonakilty aged 16, before making her senior rugby debut with Shannon RFC. From there she returned to Cork to begin her career at Highfield after a season-long stint with UL Bohemians, winning the All-Ireland League and All-Ireland Cup down in Woodleigh Park as player-coach in 2012/13, as well as enjoying an incredible international career.
Guest won 36 caps for her country, taking part in three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014), a European Championship in 2004, as well as winning Ireland’s first ever Grand Slam in 2013, and the West Cork Sports Star of the Year award that same year.
The versatile forward, who was capped in all three lines of the pack, also captained Munster to their tenth Interprovincial crown in 2014.
A qualified stage 4 coach, Guest is also a coach tutor and won two Mungret Cup titles with Midleton College in five years, and assisted Keith Murphy with the Regional Development Squad for two years. She is a multi-talented sportswoman and avid golfer, winning an All-Ireland Intermediate golf title with Lee Valley in 2015.
Assisting her in the Munster Women’s set-up will be Dave Lombard, continuing the position he had when Wayne Falvey was in charge, while Maeve D’Arcy comes in as team manager.
“With the World Cup around the corner, now is the ideal time to get girls and women playing the game, and I know the IRFU’s ‘Give It A Try’ initiative is already a big success,” said Guest.
“The support of the Women’s game has increased exponentially from when I first started playing. It has really gone from strength to strength since the Grand Slam win in 2013 and it’s fantastic to see.”