CORK rugby player Laura Sheehan played a key role in helping the Ireland senior ladies rugby team defeat Italy after the Six Nations campaign resumed recently.
Sheehan, from Urhan in the Beara Peninsula, was thrilled to win her fourth cap for the senior team.
“It was a great occasion. It is always such a huge honour to pull on the jersey. To play my part in our win against Italy was great. To play in Donnybrook with the elite rugby players in the Six Nations championship is just brilliant,” declared the pacey winger.
The Munster winger was a late introduction to the starting 15 after Eimear Considine and Laura Feely were ruled out respectively. The late call up didn’t make any difference to her mindset who received huge praise from national team coach Adam Griggs for her strong display.
“I had trained hard and prepared well all week. I was made aware on the Tuesday prior to the game that I could be involved. I kept the head down and trained away. I was focused on the game. Being number 24 on the panel, you have to be ready at all times.
"I was delighted to start. It was a shame we didn’t get the bonus point. It was a good win, however, as the last time we played them we were beaten.”
Sheehan linked up with fellow Cork rugby player Enya Breen in the backline for Ireland. She is full of praise for the former Bantry RFC player who lined out at centre.
“She is unreal. She has a massive future ahead. She is so young and talented. She will win a lot of caps in the green jersey. She works so hard. It is great to play alongside her. She has overcome a lot of injury troubles and she is flying it again.”
The Ireland senior ladies were due to play France in their final Six Nations game last weekend, but this game was cancelled after a number of French players tested positive for Covid-19. The Ireland players stayed in camp however as they continue their preparations for the World Cup qualifiers.
“I was disappointed the game was off, as I was looking forward to playing. We have to realistic however and put things into perspective as we are still in lockdown.
"We will train away and do our best in the qualifiers. Italy and Scotland are also in our group. We know if we top our group, we will qualify for next year’s World Cup which will be held next September in New Zealand.
"It would represent a dream come through to play for Ireland in a World Cup.”