Wicklow RFCs Ciara receives her first cap

The Irish Rugby Football Union recently presented over 100 female players, who played in competitive Test fixtures between 1993 and 2006, with an international cap.

Having compiled a list of all those who represented the Ireland Women in World Rugby-approved Test matches, before the IWRFU was integrated with the IRFU, the Union capped those who played for Ireland from the first fixture, which took place against Scotland on February 14, 1993, to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2006, when caps were presented by the IRFU for the first time.

One of those who received her cap on the day was an unsung hero of Wicklow RFC Ciara McConnell. Ciara started playing rugby in 1993 and was playing for Blackrock RFC when she was capped for Ireland against Wales in Old Crescent RFC in 1998. 

Ciara started coaching rugby in Wicklow RFC in 2005/2006 and has been a huge part of the success story that womens and girls rugby in Wicklow RFC has become. She has played, coached or managed in Wicklow RFC ever since. She was instrumental in setting up and playing for the first senior womens team in 2012. The McConnell family have been an integral part of the club ever since.

Wicklow now have a womens and girls section that is the envy of many clubs in Leinster with a strong Womens team, and teams in the Leinster premier leagues at u18s, u16s and u14s levels . We have minis teams at u10s and u12s and have girls as young as four years of age playing in the kinder rugby every Sunday morning. Wicklow are now one of the few clubs that has a clear pathway all the way from minis rugby to senior womens rugby. There is no doubt we would not be where we are today without pioneers of women and girls rugby like Ciara McConnell.

IRFU President Philip Orr presented the caps following Ireland’s final home match of the Women’s Six Nations campaign at Donnybrook. From everyone in Wicklow RFC we would like to say congratulations and thank you to Ciara and all the women who received their well deserved caps.