Lindsay Peat in Dublin ladies football action. Picture: GAAPics.com

LINDSAY PEAT – an All-Ireland winning footballer and former co-captain of the Irish international basketball team – added international rugby to her considerable sporting CV over the weekend.
Peat was called up to the Ireland Women’s squad to face England at Harlequin’s London ground The Stoop last week, named on the bench as the women played their first autumn international.
Peat – who plays her rugby with Railway Union in Sandymount – was named on the bench for Ireland, joining the fray in the final quarter of the game to earn her debut cap.
Amazingly, Peat only joined Railway Union (her first rugby club) in the early summer, after the club – that’s only three years old when it comes to the women’s game – talked her into turning out through friends who were already involved.
She quickly became hooked: “There are huge depths to Irish rugby, and a lot of injuries right now,” Peat told GazetteSport, modestly playing down her selection. “It never even entered my mind that I might be called up, and I feel very lucky.
“I had been trying to wind down when the call came, trying to avoid getting injured and to experience playing for my club.
“I’ve been learning the tactical side,” she adds. “There are a few crossovers from GAA and from basketball. Tactically, the game mirrors basketball, but like football you’re always trying to find space, to work to create openings. It took me a long time to stop trying to run off someone’s shoulder and to come more deep.”
Before taking up rugby, Peat had stepped away from GAA back in May, after finishing her degree. She had studied alongside a full-time job and multiple evenings of training across several sports, leaving “more often than not, only Sunday evenings free.”
“Looking back, I love basketball and football equally,” she explains. “It’s like trying to choose between your children. Basketball was the sport that I first put a lot of work into, getting to the top level, playing in the national league and then getting to the international set up.
“It’s the foundation, so it’ll always have a very special place.”
Rugby is the new love, though, and Peat’s just had her first international taste.
An experimental Irish side that included nine new caps lost to a last minute maul from a line out, with England barging over the line with two minutes left on the clock for an 8-3 win. Ireland had equalised through a penalty in an extremely low-scoring game, making the game 3-3 with seven minutes left on the clock.
“The game was played in horrible conditions that didn’t really suit us,” Peat tells us, “but it was really great to get that experience. There are two Ireland training camps coming up in December, where the squad train like professionals.
“I feel very, very lucky to be involved, and my next aim is to keep getting called up to camps. We’ll see where things go from there.
“I’m grateful to Tom Tierney [Ireland women’s rugby manager] for giving me a shot.”
And why the multi-sport success? “There’s something for everyone that just makes them feel alive,” Peat concludes. “For me, that’s sport. I just try to take up things that I enjoy.”