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Niamh Byrne says goodbye to Trinity, hello to Ireland 7s

Published: 2nd June 2017

She was one of the stars of our club captains video last year and now she’s all grown up, finished her finals and has just bagged a contract with the Ireland 7s! But before BBS student Niamh Byrne headed off to set the world on fire, we nabbed the outgoing DUFC women’s captain for a few questions…

You’re the outgoing Trinity women’s rugby captain, can you tell us a bit about how you became involved in the sport?
“I only started playing rugby in fifth year of school. Friends of mine were setting up the first women’s and girls’ team in Mullingar RFC and brought a few of us down to it - I played all my underage rugby with them.

“When I started college in Dublin I moved to Railway Union in Sandymount to play my senior level rugby.

“In Trinity, the first stand I sought out in Freshers’ Week was women’s rugby were I met then captain Caitlin Crowe. I didn’t really get involved in college rugby in first year as I was 17 and playing with Leinster U18s.”

Tell us a bit about the 7s set-up – the training etc.
“My contract officially starts on June 1st. It entails me attending all sessions rather than one pitch session a week, as I have been doing for the past while. Sessions include skills, gym and pitch sessions. Sevens training is really interesting as you always go away having learned something new to further improve your game, be it tackle technique, passing or small things you can do to increase your speed. A great environment to further your learning of the game.”

What are you most excited about?
“I’m most excited about being able to fully focus on one thing rather than trying to juggle rugby and college for the next year and I’m really excited to continue to train and play with some world-class players.” 

Tell us a bit about your time in Trinity and what your experience to date can bring to professional rugby.
“I really enjoyed my time playing rugby in Trinity. It was a great way to meet people and make friends for life.

“The women’s side of the club has developed nicely these past few years and it was great being so involved in that transformation – I have no doubt the team will continue to improve and grow. I am definitely going to miss playing alongside some of my best friends but at the same time excited to be moving on to Ireland 7s.” 

Photo above: Niamh (left) with team-mate and fellow sports scholar Kathryn-Ann Dane at the visit of the Women’s Rugby World Cup to campus in March