30 year old Spence, who was nominated in 2015 for the Women’s World Rugby Player of the Year Award, is embarking on her second World Cup campaign in UCD this week.

Name: Sophie Spence

Club: Old Belvedere

Position: Lock/Back Rower

Born: South Shields, Feb 26, 1987

Height/Weight: 181cm/84kg

Caps: 36

Debut: v France, 2011 Six Nations

Occupation: Spence Rugby Academy/Bank of Ireland Ambassador

World Cup Experience: Second World Cup

Twitter: @spence_87

Did You Know: Though her mother and family come from Belfast, Spence was born in South Shields, near Newcastle in England, where netball was her sporting background growing up. She was first spotted by Philip Doyle, Ireland’s coach at the time in August 2010, at an Exiles training camp in London and was quickly capped during the following 6 Nations campaign. Having then moved to Ireland and to Dublin, Spence helped Ireland to a Grand Slam in 2013 and was then part of the history-making squad which reached the last four of the 2014 World Cup.

WRWC 2017 Fixtures:

Pool C –

Ireland v Australia, UCD Bowl, 7pm, Wednesday, August 9
Ireland v Japan, UCD Bowl, 5.15pm, Sunday, August 13
France v Ireland, UCD Bowl, 7.45pm, Thursday, August 17

For more on the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, visit the tournament website – www.rwcwomens.com. Any remaining match tickets for #WRWC2017 are now on www.ticketmaster.ie/wrwc2017.

IRELAND WRWC 2017 Squad – Backs (13): Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster) *, Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock/Leinster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Harlequins), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

Forwards (15): Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht) (capt), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

* Denotes uncapped player