The Women’s Rugby 7’s Academy Screening Day that was due to take place on Saturday 23rd March has been postponed due to the weather. The new date will be Saturday 6th April at 10am in Railway Union RFC…

The Academy was launched earlier this month.

‘We are delighted to announce the formation of the Railway Women’s 7s Academy,’ said Railway’s Director of Women’s Rugby Shirley Corcoran. ‘One of our stated goals is to support Leinster and Ireland by developing Leinster, Irish and Olympic rugby players and this is the next stage of that. Our club’s vision is be a ‘community-based rugby club’ and we are 100% committed supporting the development of women’s rugby. A lot of work has been done in developing this academy and establishing the structures to ensure it is a success.

“Our 7s academy is the ideal place for athletic girls to develop and be nurtured to achieve their sporting potential,’ continued Corcoran, ‘Rugby is hugely enjoyable sport at which females can excel and provides massive opportunities to have fun, travel and compete at a high level.’

As part of the academy, Physiological Assessment and Physical Development will be supervised by Railway’s Player Welfare Committee, consisting of physiotherapist Redmond O’Mahony and strength and conditioning coach Luke Heapes.

The Player Welfare Committee is chaired by Professor John Ryan, Railway’s Head of Player Welfare and Leinster Team Doctor. Functional assessments will be arranged for players invited to join the academy, while individualised physical conditioning programmes will also be formalised.

Rugby 7s tactics, skills and game intelligence will be delivered by Railway coaches Mere Baker (pictured above) and Matt Brown. Mere is one of the most decorated female players in the game and has played 15s and 7s for New Zealand, won the rugby league world cup with New Zealand, won the Hong Kong 7s on six occasions and has previously coached international women’s 7s rugby. Matt is a 7s specialist and is coach of Ireland’s premier men’s team, The Wild Geese, who won at the Dubai 7s last November.

‘We are interested in players and athletes who have the potential to develop into an elite rugby player and can demonstrate the necessary components,’ said Baker, ‘These may be players with rugby experience or ‘crossover athletes’ from other sports where there might be transferable skills to rugby. We have proven with our 15s sides this year that with the right coaching, support and a fast-track development programme, we can help girls reach their potential. We will be working closely with Matt and the Wild Geese men’s team, jointly travelling to tournaments and occasionally training against each other.

‘We have an ambitious schedule of tournaments in Ireland and overseas, including Kinsale, Amsterdam, London, Kilkenny, Athlone, and Dublin, culminating in the Irish National 7s in August. We will have a number of teams competing at each,’ concluded Baker.


Full screening and assessment session: Saturday 6th April from 10am in Railway Union RFC.

To register your interest in the Railway Women’s 7s Academy, please e-mail outlining your contact details, date of birth, sporting background, and rugby experience (if any).