Irish women’s rugby international, Eimear Considine felt at the bottom of the sporting food chain during her time as a dual-player with Clare.
Eimear’s rise in the rugby world is nothing short of magnificent having only made her Munster debut in December’s Women’s Interprovincial Series. Last Friday she collected her first international cap having been sprung from the bench at half-time by Irish Head Coach Tom Tierney.
For Sunday’s 12pm clash with Italy, the Glasnevin based PE and Irish teacher is among the substitutes once more, so too is the experienced Sophie Spence a sign of the squad’s strength.
In an interview with The Irish Times, Considine said that accepting the call to go off playing rugby initially for the Irish Sevens team and now the international side was appealing based on the lack of professionalism and facilities in Clare.
“If you are from Dublin or Cork you probably have a professional set-up. I come from Clare. We try really hard, but we don’t have the money or the facilities or the people to be at the level that is almost professional like the Dublin and Cork girls are. The Mayo girls are getting there.
“There is a draw in there that you are important in sport. Coming from Clare, like, you are kind of at the bottom when it comes to sport because, one, you are a female and, two, you are from Clare, not Cork – where you have won numerous All-Irelands – or Dublin, where you are there or thereabouts”.
Her mother Kay is on the Clare Ladies Football County Board and was eager to see her line out with the county this year. She described leaving both county panels as “really, really hard” and spoke of the difficult decision made last year in choosing rugby over ladies football.
“You know yourself, [the GAA] is like a religion at home; there is nothing else to do, so you are really focused on football and camogie. Mam really wanted me to go back playing football with Clare when they were in the All-Ireland last year. My sister was playing and she wanted so much for me to go back, but I had to pick one or the other. I did two for long enough, with camogie and football, while travelling from Dublin to Clare”.
A spokesperson for the Board previously informed The Clare Herald that the Kilmihil woman had returned to the county football panel for 2017 but Eimear says her focus for now is the 6 Nations.
“I intended to go back playing football with Clare this year. I’d gone to a few training sessions, but then I got the call from Tom and sure automatically I was going to drop everything.”