LIMERICK-based rugby player Fiona Coghlan has been named as winner of The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman Award for August after her superb displays for Ireland in the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.
The UL Bohemian star was captain of the Irish team which reached the semi-finals of that tournament, in which they inflicted a historic defeat on their fabled New Zealand counterparts.
It was a sign of Ireland’s heroics in the World Cup that Coghlan did not even make it onto the IRB Team of the Tournament, which included team-mates Niamh Briggs, Gillian Bourke and Marie Louise Reilly.
The Irish Times and Irish Sports Council selected Coghlan for the August prize “not just for her own performances and leadership, but as a representative of a team that rose to the occasion this summer and truly captured the imagination, raising the profile of women’s rugby to levels these pioneers could only have dreamt of”.
The full-time teacher has now retired from the Irish team, with whom she won 85 caps over 13 years. She was captain of the side that won a historic Grand Slam in 2013, as well as skippering the girls in green to fourth place at the recent World Cup.