Over the last seven years, there has been an explosion in the number of women playing rugby in Leinster.

It is expected that these numbers will only increase further after this summer’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.

  2010 2017
# Women’s Teams 16 18
# Mini Girls Teams 0 29
# Youth U18 Girls Teams 0 25
# Youth U15 Girls Teams 0 22
# Schools Girls Teams 0 64

One of the major barriers to further growth in this area is the lack of female volunteers to support these teams – these girls need coaches!

Some of the women who have taken on coaching roles recently see only positives in helping the next generation of female player to develop and would encourage others to follow suit.

Nicole Kirwan was a young player with Portarlington RFC when she began coaching the club’s U12 team as part of her Gaisce award.

“I really enjoyed coaching those girls,” Nicole told leinsterrugby.ie. “I loved seeing them learn and they were really fun.”

The following season Nicole progressed to become assistant coach with the U15 team.

“The older girls want to learn more and they try really hard to do things well. We made it to the Leinster Finals Day this year where the girls were fantastic. It was one of my proudest coaching moments so far.”

When injury forced Lorna O’Connor to stop playing, she felt coaching was the perfect way to stay involved with the club.

“I coached the U15 and U18 teams in Westmanstown and seeing girls take up the game and grow and develop makes those rainy evenings worthwhile.”

womens rugby

Lorna identifies a major highlight in seeing Molly Scuffil McCabe sign an IRFU 7s contract earlier this year.

“Molly began playing at the club when she was 15. Seeing a girl you coached wear the national jersey is an incredible honour.”

Last year Lorna moved up to coach the women’s team in Westmanstown.

“This was the team I had played for up to just four years ago. It was a daunting prospect but the women appreciated that I had played the game and I loved being back as part of the squad.”

If you want a role in your club that is both challenging and rewarding, working with girl/women to develop their love of the game and their skills to play it, then coaching could be just for you.

Most teams train for only a couple of hours per week and Leinster Rugby run a range of coaching courses regularly in your local area to ensure you have the skills to make your sessions effective and enjoyable.

For more information on how you can get involved in coaching please contact Jennie Bagnall at jennie.bagnall@leinsterrugby.ie.

You can find details of the full list of coaching courses that are planned throughout the Province by visiting leinsterrugby.ie/coachingcourses.