Highlights: July 2022
Where else to begin?
Having been convincing winners in the first Test at Eden Park, the All Blacks were blown apart by a dominant Ireland who became just the fifth side to claim a series in New Zealand following in the prestigious footsteps of South Africa (1937), The British & Irish Lions (1971), Australia (1986) and France (1994).
All the talk in the build-up to the deciding Test centred on how New Zealand would respond to a first-ever defeat to Ireland at home, and they did come up with a spirited effort – but only after trailing 22-3 at half-time, their biggest deficit at the interval since the dawn of Test rugby. Indeed, the first 40 minutes of the decider may well go down as the best in Irish rugby history.
Numerous players shone in New Zealand, while many of those who might not have taken centre stage also acquitted themselves well in how they prepared the starting Test side as well as in overturning the Māori All Blacks having come up short in their first clash.
The Ireland Women’s Sevens team added another historic achievement to this season’s ledger by winning the Rugby Europe Krakow 7s title, beating hosts Poland 21-17 in the final. A late try from captain Lucy Mulhall secured gold in their first ever Rugby Europe Sevens Championship final.
And there was more…
Both the Men’s and Women’s 7s sides secured qualification for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town later this year following emphatic displays at the Rugby Europe Qualifying Tournament in Bucharest. Both sides entered the competition as strong favourites to secure one of four places for the World Cup and underlined their potential heading into the tournament in September.
Lucy Mulhall‘s side defeated Wales (62-0), Germany (27-0) and the Czech Republic (52-0) before earning qualification with a 36-0 win over Portugal. It was a tighter process for Billy Dardis & co. despite opening with comprehensive wins over Poland (72-0), Portugal (29-0) and Italy (21-5), they had to fight for every inch against a physical Georgian side to eventually prevail 17-12.
Wheel Keeps Turning
As those who travelled to New Zealand take some time off, their teammates have been returning to pre-season training over the past few weeks. Over the coming weeks, Rugby Players Ireland representatives will meet with each squad to update them on developments in their game and to remind them of the supports and services they can avail of through their players’ association.
Next month we will also meet with our latest members at the Rugby Players Ireland/IRFU Rookie Camp. Many of those in attendance played their part in the Six Nations U20 Summer Series which took place in Italy. The side, led by Reuben Crothers faced a difficult opening to the tournament and suffered losses to both France and South Africa before a thrilling 37-36 victory over England began to turn the tide. They finished on a high with a 41-24 win over Scotland.
Meanwhile, Nichola Fryday and the Irish Women’s XVs squad travel to Japan for a two-part series. Forwards Clara Nielson, Jo Brown and Taryn Schutzler are named in the national squad for the first time having impressed during a series of recent camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre. Backs Aoife Dalton, Dannah O’Brien, Emma Tilly, Kayla Waldron and Leah Tarpey also receive their first call-ups.
Safe tarvellingand best wishes to all!
Tackle Your Feelings
In recent weeks Tadhg Beirne has cemented his place in Irish Rugby folklore following some monumental displays in New Zealand. Before he took flight, the Munster Rugby man shared some tips on gets on top of his rest and recovery.
In the lead up to International Friendship Day, we also asked best friends Beibhinn Parsons and Aoibheann Reilly to reflect on how their friendship has grown from sharing a childminder to sharing the pitch for Ireland. On the same weekend, Wexford Ladies Football Team adorned the Tackle Your Feelings logo in their Intermediate All-Ireland Final against Laois at Croke Park.
Movers & Shakers
Our Accenture Women’s XVs Player of the Year Sam Monaghan has joined Gloucester-Hartpury from Wasps. Monaghan’s international teammates Grace Moore and recent call-up Taryn Schutzler will link up with Saracens Women, while Cliodhna Moloney will link up with Exeter Chiefs Women’s team and Claire Molloy return to Bristol Bears.
Quinn Roux has joined Bath Rugby for the 2022/23 season. Capped 16 times by Ireland, the South African born lock departed Connacht Rugby last season for RC Toulon where he made 14 appearances.
Incoming for the season is Michael McDonald who has signed for Ulster Rugby from the Western Force in Australia. Irish qualified, McDonald played with Dundalk RFC before moving to Perth at the age of 13. He lined out with fellow Louth man Rob Kearney during the latter’s stint down under last year.
Elsewhere, Dominic Robertson-McCoy has signed a 12-month contract extension to remain with Connacht Rugby.
Rugby Players Ireland is delighted to be involved on the SDE Sports Project with the German Sport University Cologne and the European Association of Sport Employers as part of our EU Athletes membership. The aim of the project is to collect information on social dialogue outcomes and pave the way for further achievement for professional sport across Europe.
In our End of Season Magazine, we caught up with Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe who has joined Rugby Players Ireland’s Executive Board on behalf of her Irish Women’s 7s teammates. Click on the image for more!
In June 2020 Simon Keogh was elected to the Executive Board of EU Athletes. Through its membership EU Athletes defends and promotes the rights of over 25,000 athletes across the continent.
🟧#WelcomeOnBoard the EUA Executive Board🟦 @RugbyPlayersIRE CEO @simonkeogh79 sees great potential and has witnessed direct benefits for Irish #athletes to be included in #Erasmus+ projects coordinated by EUA👇 https://t.co/ULkxS0vrTd
— EU Athletes (@EUAthletes) July 29, 2022
Peter Claffey‘s rise in the acting world continues. This month he appeared alongside Jane Seymour and Amy Huberman in RTÉ’s new series Harry Wild.
Fellow Galwayman Damian Browne is currently somewhere out on the Atlantic Ocean. The extreme adventurer is in the midst of his latest challenge ‘Project Empower’ which has him attempting an unsupported row for 5000kms to take him from New York to Galway. You can follow his progress here, or listen to his Deep Roots podcast here.
We were sorry to hear that former Munster Rugby player Jaco Taute has called time on his career. We wish him well for the future.
Former Irish internationals Lindsay Peat and Larissa Muldoon have taken on coaching roles with Railway Union. Meanwhile, their former teammate Louise Galvin today contests an All-Ireland final for Kerry LGFA. Following their semi-final victory over Mayo, Galvin was seen to quickly leave the field so as to breastfeed her son. She speaks about in openly in this interview with Off the Ball.
What would you do if you just booked your place in the All Ireland final? | 🤔
If you're @lougalvin4, you run straight into the change room to breastfeed! | 🤱
🗣 'I’ don’t know if it’s the first baby to be breastfed in Croke Park…’
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) July 16, 2022
End of Season Magazine
Check out our review of our 2021/22 season in our latest magazine, featuring interviews with Joey Carbery, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Bundee Aki!
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