Clon’s 6 Nations heroine

by Gazette Reporter
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SMACK bang in the middle of Ireland’s Six Nations double triumph last weekend, a Clondalkin local was right there amidst the guts and the glory.

Making her 15-a-side debut in the tournament, Hannah Tyrrell operated on the wing for much of the campaign for Ireland’s women’s side. A former Round Tower GAA star and Colaiste Bride student, last Sunday became a 6 Nations and Triple Crown champion in Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow.

Speaking to GazetteSport just a day after the win, the 24-year-old was still on a massive high. “It’s fantastic, everybody’s delighted,” she said.

“You know, coming into the 6 Nations we were a team in transition and I don’t think anyone really expected us to get as far as we did or go on and win it.

“But, as the weeks went by, our confidence and our belief began to grow and we just went out to win every game. Thankfully we ended up with the trophy in the end”

Unfortunately, Tyrrell left the final game with injury on 27 minutes but still managed to play some part in the 73-3 win over Scotland.

A lovely one-two with skipper Niamh Briggs resulted in an Ireland try after just four minutes. A heroic shoulder tearing tackle ended the winger’s game but she watched on as her team-mates easily bypassed the 27-point winning margin required to take the Championship. Thankfully the injury is not too serious and Tyrrell expects to be back in action in just a couple of weeks.

Being a 6 Nations champion is a dream for any European rugby player, and it’s a dream Tyrrell didn’t take too long to fulfil, as she only made the switch to the sport from GAA two years ago, initially at sevens level.

Swapping the life of a GAA player for the elite level of international rugby is an interesting one but the pacey Tyrrell has much to thank her footballing background for.

She said: “Round Tower was where I started my GAA career and they really shaped me as a player growing up and gave me a skill set that has really helped me in rugby, such as handling, kicking and footwork.

“The people I worked with and met there also helped me to grow in confidence both as a person and a player.

“The experience that I got from other players made me improve week in week out so a lot of my thanks for everything goes to them because I wouldn’t be the rugby player I am today if I hadn’t acquired a lot of the skills I’d learned both on and off the pitch from Tower’s.”

There’s no time to rest on her laurels after the momentous win last weekend as the Old Belvo girl is back training for Ireland’s Sevens side ahead of the European Championships in June.

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