The Connacht Emerging Talent squad to face Leinster North Midlands tonight at 7.30pm in The Sportsground has been named. 

This occasion marks the first game that will be under the new floodlights at our home stadium.

First Name Surname Club
Abigail Gibbons Claremorris
Alana Roche University of Galway
Dearbhla Canty Galwegians
Ellen Connolly Galwegians
Ellie Dillane OLBC
Erin Moore Westport
Grainne O’Rourke Tuam/Oughterard
Kate O’Meara University of Galway
Kayley Mannion ATU
Laura Hastings Tuam/Oughterard
Maria Gorham Galwegians
Mia Williams University of Galway
Mollie Starr Corinthians
Molly Ager UG
Muireann Cawley Westport
Niamh Corless Claremorris
Noreen Cassidy CYM Terenure
Orla Fenton Corinthians
Rochelle Connolly Galwegians
Ruby Lynch Galwegians
Sarah Heenan OLBC
Sarah O’Connell Galwegians
Sinead O’Brien Galwegians
Stacy Hanley OLBC
Tanya Farrell Galwegians


Management – Wendy Hickey
Head Coach – Emer O’Dowd
Skills Coach – Mary Healy
S&C Coach – Ann Caffery

The Leinster North Midlands squad they’ll face is listed below.

Player First Name Surname Club
Abi Keatley Kinderegan Athy
Alannah Fraser PortDara Falcons
Alice Cross PortDara Falcons
Amy Lynch Athy
Ava Gleeson PortDara Falcons
Blaitnaid Smith PortDara Falcons
Clodagh Burke PortDara Falcons
Ellen Murray Naas
Emma Larkin Portlaoise
Eve Kehoe PortDara Falcons
Fiona Fennessy Athy
Hannah Wilson Portdara
Jade Laffan Porlaoise
Kate Eacrett PortDara Falcons
Katie Halpin Naas
Lily Cunningham Athy
Mairead Scully PortDara Falcons
Meabh Collins Athy
Mia Whelan PortDara Falcons
Rebecca Boyhan PortDara Falcons
Rebecca Boyhan PortDara Falcons
Ruth Campbell Naas
Ruth Whittle PortDara Falcons

Management – Mark Bergin
Head Coach – Dominick Gleeson
Assistant Coach – Stephen Laffan
Assistant Coach – Con Heavey

The Connacht Women’s League kicked off this weekend, with two round one fixtures taking place.

Sunday afternoon saw Sligo RFC run out worthy winners against Westport. The side from the Yeats County impressed throughout, placing themselves on the top of the table with a 58-5 win.

Etna Flanagan scored a hat-trick of tries, with Orla Evans, Emma Cox and Shannagh Tiffoney all scoring braces. Sophie Kingham also got on the scoreboard, with Clíodhna O’Sullivan putting over four conversions.



The tournament’s other game of the weekend saw University of Galway host OLBC in a seven-try-thriller. The home side got the better of a 26-19 scoreline, with tries coming from Tara Fenton, Rochelle Connolly, along with a brace from Mia Williams.

Round two of fixtures will see a repeat of last year’s final, with OLBC hosting Galwegians 2nd XV in The Sportsground. Meanwhile, newly formed Tuam/Oughterard host University of Galway, who will be hoping to build on their impressive performance from round one.

Sligo is another team that will be looking to build momentum, as they take on Buccaneers/Corinthians, while Westport will be aiming to bounce back, as they face Corrib RFC.

A full list of Connacht Women’s League fixtures is available here.

The Bank of Ireland Connacht Women’s League returns this weekend with an intriguing list of first round fixtures.

Galwegians 2nd XV begin their defence of the title by travelling to Corinthian Park to play Buccaneers/Corinthians.

At the launch of the tournament, Wegian’s Aoife Williams (who is the holder of Connacht Rugby’s Women’s Club Player of the Year) discussed her side’s goals for the new campaign.

She said: “We are hoping to build and continue our success from last year. (We also want to) improve our quality of rugby and attract new players and grow the sport amongst women in Connacht”.

The side ‘Wegians defeated in last year’s decider, OLBC, travel to University of Galway in what should be a tight game between two strong sides. University of Galway won four of their six league games last season, before narrowly losing to Galwegians in a tit for tat semi-final.

They will have hopes of going one better this time around.

Corrib RFC host a young Tuam/Oughterard side that has been putting in encouraging performances in this season’s Bank of Ireland Invitational Cup.

Tara Leslie of Our Lady’s Boys Club, Rachel Riley of Corrib RFC, Sarah Woodmartin of Sligo RFC, Rhiann Heery of the Galway Corinthians RFC, Aoife Williams of the Galwegians RFC, Claire Coghlane of Westport RFC, Aisling Hahessy of NUIG RFC and Karly Tierney of Tuam/Oughterard

The Corrib RFC women’s team is newly formed and didn’t take part in last year’s Bank of Ireland Connacht Women’s League. They will be hoping to make a splash in proceedings over the coming weeks.

One of their players, Rachel Reilly, discussed what it means to the club to be competing in this year’s tournament. She said: “Being the first Corrib RFC senior women’s team since the late 90s, forming a new team, and many of our ladies not having touched a rugby ball before, we are delighted to be able to enter the league.

“Of course, we would love for our first season to go well, but regardless of the scoreboard, we are delighted to have the steppingstones there for all the Corrib RFC youth girls coming up”.

The final game in the first round of fixtures sees Westport RFC travel to Sligo RFC in a game between two sides that hold near identical records in this year’s Invitational Cup. With both sides having two wins and a loss on the board, all signs point to their league fixture being a close affair.

The corresponding fixture last season certainly fit that bill, with the game ending all-square on a score of 15 each. Westport did get the better of their neighbours in the Plate final, so Sligo will be looking to get one back against the league’s other side from the Northwest.

A full list of fixtures for this year’s tournament is available here.

The IRFU is pleased to announce that Gillian McDarby has been appointed as Head of Women’s Performance and Pathways following an extensive recruitment process directed by the IRFU National Professional Game Board.
Gillian will be responsible for the development, delivery, and implementation of the approved strategic and operational direction of the women’s rugby performance programme for both XVs and Sevens. She will be responsible for developing a cohesive player pathway that connects and feeds the needs of both national programmes. She will work with the Domestic Rugby department to grow the playing base of young women and girls, thereby facilitating consistent performance of Irish teams at an elite level into the future.
Gillian McDarby’s extensive career, across business and sport, provides her with strong high performance structural development credentials, which will prove critical in the development of the next phase of growth and elite performance for Irish women’s rugby. Through her career with the IRFU she already has a deep understanding of the issues and opportunities facing the women’s game in Ireland.
A synopsis of her involvement across sport includes:
2002 – 2007 Member of Cycling Ireland’s elite senior squad
2011-2013 Women’s National Development Coach & National Team Manager, Cycling Ireland
2014-2016 Women’s Rugby National Teams Program Manager, IRFU
2017-2021 Member of Board of Directors, Cycling Ireland
2019-2020 Business Intelligence Analyst (Performance Department) & Project Management, IRFU
2020 – High Performance Centre, Facilities & Operations Manager, IRFU
In addition, the IRFU has confirmed that it will be providing a total of 43 centralised, paid contracts to elite women’s players next season, this includes contracts already in operation for members of the women’s 7’s programme. To respect the importance of the upcoming test windows in Japan and the Sevens World Cup, the IRFU will discuss the details of the contracts with players before making further public pronouncements on these exciting developments.
The contracts have been benchmarked internationally and will range up to €30,000 + match fees and bonuses.
Speaking of her appointment Gillian McDarby said, “It is a great privilege to be appointed as the IRFU’s first Head of Women’s Performance and Pathways. I have worked across several important areas in the game and believe there is a huge growth opportunity for the women’s game in Ireland and I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders to bring the women’s game to the next level. It is also pleasing that my appointment coincides with the formal announcement of contracts for up to 43 female players. This is a major step forward for women’s rugby in Ireland.
“Success in the women’s game will be based on sustainability: creating sustainable pathways within the competition structures, getting meaningful competition structures in place for both women and girls to access the game of rugby at the right entry points and continuing to develop competitive international teams in fifteens and sevens. That, to me, is success.”
“This is an exciting time for the game and while much work has been done, there is always more to do. There are no overnight successes in sport, but I know that by working collectively with clubs, players, coaches, staff, and volunteers we can build an ever-evolving environment where young women and girls are supported to be the best they can be.”

Kevin Potts, Chief Executive, IRFU in welcoming the appointment said, “I would like to congratulate Gillian on her appointment and thank the interview panel of Nancy Chillingworth, High Performance Manager with the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Gary Keegan CEO of Uppercut, the high-performance advisory consultancy firm that works with organisations and leaders across sport, both of whom are independent members of the IRFU’s National Professional Game Board (NPGB) and David Nucifora, the IRFU High Performance Director. The high-performance expertise and independence brought to this appointment was very important to the NPGB.
“We wish Gillian well in this vitally important role and will ensure that she has the full support of the NPGB and the IRFU to successfully bring women’s rugby in Ireland to the next level.
“Today’s announcement of the creation of up to 43 IRFU contracts for Women’s Players is a further strong signal of our intent to foster and grow the women’s game over the coming years and to ensure that our women’s players are provided with the best opportunities to compete at the highest levels of the game in the future.”

It may be October but the finals are already coming thick and fast on the Club & Community scene.

The Womens Invitational Cup and Plate finals will take place on Sunday, with Tuam RFC and Ballinasloe RFC playing host to the two fixtures.

In the Cup final OLBC RFC take on Westport RFC, with kick-off in Tuam at 1pm on Sunday. 30 minutes earlier the Plate final in Ballinasloe sees Buccaneers RFC face Galwegians RFC, with kick-off there at 12.30pm.

Also in the pipeline is the Shield Final between Ballina RFC and Sligo RFC, with a date, venue and kick-off time to be confirmed.

Best of luck to all teams involved.

The Connacht Women will be looking to finish the Vodafone Interprovincial Series on a high when they face Ulster Women at Energia Park tomorrow (k/o 5pm)

Here is the squad for that game, captained by scrum-half Mary Healy.

1 Julia Bauer Suttonians RFC
2 Moya Griffin Tullamore RFC
3 Shannon Heapes Cooke RFC
4 Eva McCormack Westport RFC
5 Fiona Scally Galwegians RFC
6 Meadbh Scally Blackrock College RFC
7 Emma Fabby Westport RFC
8 Kate Feehan Westport RFC
9 Mary Healy (C) Galwegians RFC
10 Nicole Fowley Galwegians RFC
11 Orla Dixon Galwegians RFC
12 Shannon Touhey Suttonians RFC
13 Catherine Martin Suttonians RFC
14 Ursula Sammon Westport RFC
15 Nicole Carroll Suttonians RFC
16 Lily Brady Westport RFC
17 Jessica Loftus Westport RFC
18 Elizabeth McNicholas Galwegians RFC
19 Aifric O’Brien Suttonians RFC
20 Ciara Farrell Tullamore RFC
21 Noreen Cassidy CYM RFC
22 Megan Walsh Galwegians RFC
23 Ava Ryder Railway Union RFC

The Connacht Women matchday 23 has been named for tomorrow’s Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship fixture with Munster at Musgrave Park.
Kick-off is at 7.30pm with live coverage on TG4.
1 Julia Bauer Suttonians RFC
2 Moya Griffin Tullamore RFC
3 Shannon Heapes Cooke RFC
4 Eva McCormack Westport RFC
5 Fiona Scally Galwegians RFC
6 Ciara Farrell Tullamore RFC
7 Meadbh Scally Blackrock College RFC
8 Kate Feehan Westport RFC
9 Mary Healy Galwegians RFC (C)
10 Nicole Fowley Galwegians RFC
11 Orla Dixon Galwegians RFC
12 Shannon Touhey Suttonians RFC
13 Catherine Martin Suttonians RFC
14 Ursula Sammon Westport RFC
15 Nicole Carroll Suttonians RFC

16 Emily Gavin Ballinasloe RFC
17 Hannah Coen Sligo RFC
18 Elizabeth McNicholas Galwegians RFC
19 Faith Oviawe Buccaneers RFC
20 Emma Fabby Westport RFC
21 Noreen Cassidy CYM RFC
22 Megan Walsh Galwegians RFC
23 Órfhlaith Murray MU Barnhall RFC

We are delighted to confirm that a limited number of tickets are now on sale for this Saturday’s Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Series fixture between Connacht and Leinster at The Sportsground (k/o 2.45pm). 


This is a really exciting milestone for Connacht Rugby because, for the first time since February 2020, we are giving every supporter the chance to purchase a ticket to a rugby game at the stadium.  


Here’s all you need to know: 


What’s the capacity of the ground? 

As per current Government guidelines The Sportsground will be limited to 500 spectators.  


What tickets are available: 

Tickets are on sale via the link below on a first-come first-served basis. We’re expecting huge interest so book your spot before it’s too late. According to current guidelines and to maximise the space available, tickets will be sold in groups of 2’s or 4’s. 

For those that wish to purchase two tickets, your options are: 

  • 2 adults 
  • 1 adult + 1 junior 

For those that wish to purchase four tickets (limited availability), your options are: 

  • 4 adults 
  • 3 adults + 1 junior 
  • 2 adults + 2 juniors 
  • 1 adult + 3 juniors 


How much are tickets? 

€10 for adults / €5 for juniors (U16s) 


What will be different? 

Quite a bit actually! We’ve made a number of changes to ensure you can watch the game in a safe environment. 

  • Gates are open from 1.45pm and we would strongly encourage you to arrive at the ground as early as possible. 
  • All groups MUST arrive together and enter the stadium at the same time via the Clan Stand entrance. If your group’s tickets are scanned at separate times, you risk not gaining entry to The Sportsground. 
  • Masks must be worn at all times. 
  • On your e-ticket you will be designated a ‘zone’, and upon arrival to the ground please follow directions from staff. To ensure safe social distancing please enjoy the game from this area. 
  • There will be no smoking in any part of The Sportsground. Those who wish to smoke must exit the stadium and will not be allowed re-entry.
  • Look out for signs from our health & wellbeing partners Laya Healthcare which will direct you to the nearest sanitisation station. 


The Connacht Women’s management team have named their squad for the upcoming Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship.

This series marks the first time in nearly two years the Connacht Women’s squad will take to the field, after they reached the final of the 2019 Interprovincial Championship.

The squad will be captained by scrum-half Mary Healy with their opening game coming this Saturday against Leinster at The Sportsground (k/o 2.45pm).

Next up will be a trip to Musgrave Park on Saturday 4th September to face Munster, before heading to Energia Park for a series finale against Ulster the following week.

Further details on the squad can be found HERE


Aifric O’Brien
Ava Ryder
Catherine Martin
Ciara Farrell
Darwyn O’Halloran
Elizabeth McNicholas
Ellen Taite
Emily Gavin
Emma Fabby
Eva McCormack
Faith Oviawe
Fiona Scally
Grace Brown Moran
Hannah Coen
Jessica Loftus
Julia Bauer
Kate Feehan
Lily Brady
Mary Healy (Captain)
Meadbh Scally
Megan Walsh
Moya Griffin
Muireann Cawley
Niamh O’Grady
Nicole Carroll
Nicole Fowley
Noreen Cassidy
Orla Dixon
Órfhlaith Murray
Rebecca Gavin
Rhiann Heery
Shannon Heapes
Shannon Touhey
Sinead Rigney
Ursula Sammon

Head Coach: Ross Mannion
Backs Coach: Lyndon Jones
Defence Coach / Video Analysis: Guilherme Coghetto
Physio: Andy Moran
S&C: Ann Caffrey
Team Manager: Mark ‘Barney’ Moran


Womens Invitational Cup and Plate final scheduled for this weekend

Connacht Women team named for interpro finale with Ulster

Connacht Women team named for interpro finale with Ulster

1 year ago
Connacht Women squad named for Interpro Championship fixture with Munster

Connacht Women squad named for Interpro Championship fixture with Munster

1 year ago
Tickets now on sale for Connacht v Leinster Women’s Interpro

Tickets now on sale for Connacht v Leinster Women’s Interpro

1 year ago