Catching up… Part I

Rather than telling you about what I have been up to, I am going to show you!

  1. Six Nations, Two Stories

Embarrassingly my last blog post was back in September 2015 and was all about becoming a first time author with Six Nations, Two Stories… The book was launched just before the Rugby World Cup and, wow, there is isn’t quite a feeling like seeing your work in a bookshop or getting a good review or even popping up on television … The launch was a great occasion as it was a great opportunity to celebrate with my co-author Peter O’Reilly, The O’Brien Press team, family, friends, colleagues and most importantly Ireland’s rugby women… It meant a lot for so many of them to come, as in the end I was merely telling their 2015 Six Nations story…

Six Nations, Two Stories

Clockwise from top left: Six Nations, Two Stories in very good company on the shelves of Liber Bookshop, Sligo, part of the photo section, Six Nations, Two Stories making an appearance on RTE One’s Today in the capable hands of Daithi O’Se and Maura Derrane, looking good surrounded by some amazing books also on Today, at the book launch with some of Ireland’s amazing 2015 Six Nations winners, Six Nations Two Stories continuing to keep good company, making into the Irish institution that is the Eason Christmas catalogue, honoured to have my copy signed by my co-author and Ireland Women Class of 2015

2. The Rugby World Cup….

England and Wales are just a hop across the Irish Sea and certainly don’t seem as exotic as New Zealand (where I attended my first Rugby World Cup as media) but just the differences in rugby culture between England and Wales would make a meaty feature not to mention the role football stadia played in hosting the tournament and rugby’s relationship with football… I could go on and on and…


Let me show you a few of my favourite moments from a fantastic tournament instead…


Pool Stage photos – Clockwise from top left: The calm before the storm: At Fiji’s Captain’s Run at Twickenham the day before their RWC 2015 opener against hosts England, match programme and ticket from New Zealand  versus Georgia in Cardiff, Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper in the mixed zone in Twickers after the Wallabies pool stage win that would see England out of the tournament, Villa Park looking rugby ready ahead of South Africa versus Samoa, Irish fans painting Wembley green, a selection of media guides and an English Red Rose pin (that a lovely young girl gave me on the train on the way to Twickenham before that opening game of the tournament when there was still much hope for the House of Lancaster), and Queen Elizabeth II keeps a watch over a busy All Blacks mixed zone (you can just about make out hooker Dane Coles) in the (then) Millennium (now Principality) Stadium after the Georgia game, Wembley’s famous arch is illuminated in green in honour of Ireland’s win over Romania (which attracted the biggest ever crowd at RWC fixture and again back when there was much hope for the Boys in Green)… 


The Knock-out Rounds – Clockwise from top left : Arriving on Are Lingus’ “Green Spirit” ahead of the Quarter Final Weekend in Cardiff, programme and match ticket (staring Johnny Wilkinson) for the FINAL, where it all began; Rugby School, Big Ben taken the week of the final, “Dan of the Moment”: Dan Carter’s last stand in All Black after New Zealand claimed their historic “two in a row” – lock extraordinaire Sam Whitelock also stars in this photo, Rugby “invades” Cardiff Castle, Twickers in the moments before the World (Bledisloe) Cup final, RWC travel essentials (yes, a Paddington Bear tote bag is essential!) …

And we haven’t even gotten stuck into 2016 yet!

“Catching up… Part II” will be with you soon…

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