NUIG RFC was established in 1873 as UCG Rugby Club and was a founding member of the IRFU in 1874. The women’s team was started in 2002 with the arrival of rugby development office Jim Herring. We have now a dedicated player’s base from the college with a large international contingent of players, and we continue to welcome new players throughout the season with or without experience.
2004 was a very successful year with the women’s team competing in their first official match against Sligo I.T. in February, which ended in a draw. After a long and stressful organisational period the NUIG women hosted one of the most successful intervarsities competitions on the 31st of March in Dangan sports grounds. Eight teams from around the country competed, the most teams to enter the competition at that point.
In 2004 and 2005 the NUIG Ladies competed for the first time in the I.S.S.A. College’s League. This was a major stepping stone for the club, as was the appointment of coach ex Irish international Stephanie Dowling-Folan.
The start of the 2005 season saw the appointment of a new dedicated coaching team consisting of Sineád Cosgrave, Wendy Hickey and Caroline Pryce. Sinead Cosgrave is an ex Irish international and has also represented Connaught and Galwegians along with Wendy Hickey and Caroline Pryce. Wendy Hickey is also a development officer for the IRFU.
Sinead Cosgrave continued with the team until 2010, taking a well earned sabbatical having led them to their first varsity championship final. Simon Lawless and Darragh Keady took over from Cosgrave the following season, leading the squad to yet another Connacht League Final in March 2011.
Following Keady’s Austrailian bound departure, he was replaced with New Zealand native Luke O’Donnell. Lawless and O’Donnell’s cemistry worked well as they brought their team to the Connacht League Semi-Final and CUSAI Final in the 2012-2013 season.