Jump to main content


LiveWIRe: Women In Rugby Conference To Go Ahead On International Women’s Day

The LiveWIRe: Women In Rugby Conference is to go ahead as scheduled on Sunday March 8th.

The event will not be affected by the cancellation of Ireland’s game against Italy in the Women’s 6 Nations and will retain its focus of coinciding with International Women’s Day 2020. 

A very limited number of tickets remain available for the conference.

The theme for this year’s event will be ‘Leadership Journeys of Women In Rugby’.

“LiveWIRe is about Women in Rugby,” said IRFU Committee Member Mary Quinn. “We want to appreciate and learn from women in leadership roles in rugby and other sports. We are sharing the experience of our current female leaders and showing leadership pathways to other women who are involved in rugby or who are interested in getting involved.”

Women who have officiated, played and coached at the highest levels will be asked to share their leadership journeys from their very first involvement at grassroots level. The Key Note Speaker is Karen Brown – an Olympic medal winning field hockey player and coach who will talk about her transition into leadership, in conversation with IRFU Committee Member Su Carty.

Speaking about the conference, Carty said:

“We have outlined in the IRFU Women In Rugby Action Plan how we are committed to supporting the needs of our current leaders and ensuring systems are in place to identify the leaders of tomorrow. LiveWIRe will act as another access point for women in rugby to avail of the support and resources they need in pursuing leadership roles.”

Upcoming leadership development opportunities in Irish Rugby will be outlined on the day by IRFU Spirit Of Rugby Manager Anne Marie Hughes.


#LiveWIRe2020 Women In Rugby Conference – “Leadership Journeys Of Women In Rugby”

  • Sunday March 8th 2020, 09:30 – 12:30
  • Lansdowne Suite, Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin.
  • Tickets: http://bit.ly/LiveWIRe 


09:30 – 10:00    Registration (Tea & Coffee Served)

10:00 – 10:05    Opening Remarks from Mary Quinn, IRFU Committee 2019/2020

10:05 – 10:15    Leadership Goals

Chair of Sport Ireland’s Women In Sport committee Lynne Cantwell will outline Sport Ireland’s progress towards greater gender balance in Board membership of funded bodies and pathways for women aspiring to become leaders of funded bodies.

10:15 – 11:00    Panel : Seeing A Leader, Being A Leader

“Being the first always creates a pressure that you don’t want to be the last.”

More women are making breakthroughs into leadership roles in rugby, but it’s not always easy to be the first. Broadcaster Grainne McElwain will MC a panel discussion about navigating a journey of leadership. Conference attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own stories of how they are leading in their respective fields. 

Speakers: Fiona Steed (Broadcaster, Columnist and Rugby Volunteer), Joy Neville (Elite IRFU Rugby Referee), Meadhbh Lewis (IRFU Youth Council Chair).

11.00 – 11.10    Break

11:10 – 11:55    Growing As A Leader

Karen Brown is a veteran of six Olympic games as both player and coach in field hockey. She was Assistant Coach to Team GB’s Olympic gold winning side of 2016.

In conversation with Su Carty, Karen will discuss the importance of people development skills and how she transitioned from being a leader on the pitch to being a leader off the pitch. Su Carty was World Rugby’s first Women’s Development Manager. She is a current member of the IRFU Union Committee and serves as an IRFU Representative to World Rugby.

11:55 – 12:05    Becoming A Leader

IRFU Spirit Of Rugby Manager Anne Marie Hughes will outline upcoming leadership development opportunities in Irish Rugby.

12:05 -12:10     Closing Remarks from Mary Quinn, IRFU Committee 2019/2020

12:10 – 12:30    Networking and Light Refreshment