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Ultimate aim for Ennis/Kilrush RFC is to play in the All Ireland league

Ennis/Kilrush women’s rugby club have only been in existence for two years. Their growth and progress has been nothing short of sensational with huge success. This year alone they won the Division 1 league and Munster Cup. Beaten in the All Ireland semi-final by a solitary try against eventual winners Tullow has only whetted their appetite and as a club there’s fierce determination to make it to the All Ireland League. Coach Gareth O’Hanlon is so proud of all involved and wants to encourage any girls who might want to take up rugby to come and join the club.

Coach Gareth O’Hanlon with daughter Willow and the Munster Division 1 Cup
“It’s truly been a remarkable journey. To think we’re only two years in existence and to be the standout team in the entire competition is amazing.”
Ennis/Kilrush rugby club like to play an attractive brand of attacking rugby and scored a remarkable 65 tries in seventeen matches this year, something coach O’Hanlon is immensely proud of.
“When we as a management team got together our primary objective was to make it fun for all the girls involved. We believe that if one enjoys playing then results automatically follow. With that in mind we adopted an attacking approach and we definitely reaped the rewards. Not only that though our style of play generated a huge following at our matches and it’s been a rollercoaster of a journey and one we hope continues.”
To be aiming to take on paid professionals and girls who regularly represent Ireland in the six nations is lofty ambitions for amateur players but Limerick native O’Hanlon feels it would be the ultimate reward for all the hard work his girls have put in.
“We had fourteen players two years ago. We now have forty who have all trained so hard. They follow a gym program and average over sixty training sessions a season. There’s a social side to it as well with get togethers and we even had a training camp at Dergisle Adventure Centre which was brilliant for all the girls. We will be back training in July and we want to encourage all girls out there who have an interest to come join us. We have an open-door policy and are always looking to expand. Our ultimate aim is to play in the All Ireland League and we were so close this year.”
There’s no doubting that the management team of Caroline Purcell, Gareth O’Hanlon, Cian Geoghegan, George Nolan, John Colleran and Tom Moynihan have put in a serious effort transforming girls rugby in the County but O’Hanlon is quick to place the accolades firmly on his players.
“We’ve some seriously top players in our panel. Six of the side including Captain Michaela Glynn are part of the Munster Senior Squad and we have two outstanding young players in Grainne Burke and Aoibheann Hahessy who are part of the Irish U-20 team. When you have players of that ability, not only is your job that much easier but it is that much more enjoyable.”
With players of such note and a management team who give it their all one can only see Ennis/Kilrush rugby club continuously progressing and the All Ireland League is surely their final destination.
Watch this space. The Banner girls are coming and coming in force.

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