Developing Women’s Rugby at Leinster

Women’s rugby has come a long way in the past few years, something Leinster senior player Judy Bobbett can attest to. In the final instalment of Energia’s #ThePowerBehindLeinster series, Bobbett recalls her early club days in Ashbourne RFC.

The third episode in the series, ‘Development’ focuses on Bobbett as well as Leinster Women’s Development Officer, Jennie Bagnall, who both give an insight into the past, present and future of women’s rugby throughout the province.

20-year-old Judy Bobbett began playing rugby with her local club, Ashbourne RFC. At six years old, she was the only girl playing rugby with the club – her long hair was something she constantly tried to hide from teammates and opponents.

“I was the only girl. I used to put on a scrum cap, just so the boys couldn’t see I had long hair.”

Bobbett’s career has come on a long way from the days of running out as a mascot – It was the presence of the women’s team training at Ashbourne which fuelled her love of rugby and opened her up to the sport.

She has since gone on to captain the Leinster Under-18’s in 2018, joining the Leinster Seniors’ team and gaining her first international cap in November 2019.

Jennie Bagnall and the development team have led the change in women’s rugby across Leinster. On first taking up the role as Leinster Women’s Development Officer, Bagnell remembers there were just 7 girls youth teams across the province.

Through Leinster support and the development of the game, they now have up to 90 girls’ teams and growing which Jennie puts down to the sense of ‘team spirit’ and gaining friendships through playing the game.

Energia partnered with Leinster Rugby in 2018 as official energy partner. Showcasing the team, coaches and mentors the #ThePowerBehindLeinster series gives an insight into the work being undertaken by Leinster Women’s Rugby squad and what being a part of Leinster means to them.


Image credit: Leinster Rugby

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