‘She tore us apart that day’ – Ex-Ireland rugby star making impressive impact for Dublin

FORMER IRELAND RUGBY international Hannah Tyrrell has been a huge addition for the Dublin ladies this season, having only rejoined the squad in recent weeks.

Hannah Tyrrell is making a huge impact with Dublin after an impressive rugby career.

Tyrrell, who was previously an out-half for Ireland, has been in sensational form for the Dubs and has played a key role in securing their safe passage to the Division 1 final this weekend against Cork.

Her superb displays in the Dublin attack has amassed a tally of 3-22 so far, and has also emerged as a strong free-taker for Mick Bohan’s side.

Tyrrell, who plays her club football with Na Fianna, was involved in the panel briefly in 2014 but is certainly becoming a more prominent figure in the camp this season.

“It’s been a good few years since she’s been back,” Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne began about Tyrrell’s impact since her return.

“She’s had a really successful journey with the international rugby team so she brings so much experience from that set-up. She’s a great athlete and has been going really well.

“She came in a few weeks after we went back. At that stage, she was deciding on the rugby side of her career. Obviously, she had a decision to make in terms of stepping away from that.

“But I think she enjoyed her time when she came into the set-up and decided at this stage of her life that it was something she wanted to give a bit of time to so it worked well for us.”

Aherne added:

“Going back to 2014 is hard to remember but I know Hannah put in a good stint as a goalkeeper in her earlier years as well and you can probably put her anywhere on the pitch. Certainly from the rugby set-up, her athleticism and strength has really improved. 

“You can really see all the attributes from that training environment has brought her on as a Gaelic football player. And she was playing with Na Fianna in the club championship last year so I know my own club [St Sylvester’s] had a tough game against her last year.

“She’s a great asset to us. She’s getting used to the players around her as well and there’s been a lot of players moving around in the team. It’s just been a familiarisation process but she’s certainly jumped into it with both feet anyway.”

The All-Ireland four-in-a-row champions are seeking just their second Division 1 crown when they take on Cork at Croke Park this Saturday. The fixture has been selected as a pilot event to test the gradual return of fans to live sport, with 4,000 fans permitted to attend the decider at GAA headquarters.

The sides have already met in the group stages of the league, with Dublin prevailing by just one point at the end of a thrilling encounter.

Tyrrell pocketed 2-7 in that clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last month and her performance certainly caught the eye of Cork goalkeeper, and captain, Martin O’Brien.

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Sinéad Aherne and Martina O’Brien at the Lidl Ladies National Football League Finals captains day at Croke Park.

Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

“She’s coming from a great pedigree,” says O’Brien.

“She’s had how many years of playing professional rugby at that high standard. She really is something else and she tore us apart that day. I don’t think she missed a kick against us and she has a serious leg on her.

“I suppose you can’t pinpoint any one player, and especially when you’re playing the likes of Dublin. They have players throughout the pitch and they’re never relying on just one person to get them over the line.

“You’re obviously going to keep one eye on someone like Hannah but you’ve to keep an eye on the rest of the team as well. We’re not going to be overly focused on any one player but it’s more you limit the damage with a player like that [Tyrrell].”

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