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Getting To Know: Leah Lyons

31st July 2017 By The Editor

Getting To Know: Leah Lyons

Highfield's Leah Lyons has plenty of 6 Nations experience - INPHO/Craig Watson

In the latest of our series, we turn the spotlight on Leah Lyons ahead of the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.

In the latest of our series, we turn the spotlight on Leah Lyons ahead of the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Highfield prop Leah has already proved her worth to the international side since her introduction in the November internationals, scoring three tries in this season’s Six Nations – against Italy, France and England – and is now an expected starter for Tom Tierney’s side.

Leah comes from Ballyhooley, just outside Fermoy in North Cork, and had always been involved in rugby, playing with boys teams before eventually getting the chance to play amongst her peers when the Fermoy Lionesses started up.

Leah’s progression saw her play for the Munster U18s and U19s before making her Senior debut for the province in 2013. Not that Leah was unfamiliar with the territory of Women’s Interprovincials, regularly attending games at all ages when she was younger with her rugby-mad family.

Her sister Adena played herself, while father Michael was a distinguished coach in the area, and was always on hand to try and help Leah’s game, away from regular training sessions.

All that hard work continued to pay-off, and last November, after 35 minutes, Leah was thrust into the international stage in the unfamiliar position at number two, scrumming down with the World’s top ranked side in England.

The Corkonian held her own though in difficult circumstances, and that excellent Six Nations campaign has raised her hand for selection; expect to see her in action over the course of the tournament.

Name: Leah Lyons

Date of Birth: 27 November 1994

Club: Highfield RFC.

Munster Caps: 10

Ireland Caps: 8

Profession: Part time sales rep with Macron Sportswear and part time in O’Sullivans Bar, Crookhaven.

Favourite Food: Steak and Veg

Book you are currently reading or have just finished: Last book a read was, Abby Wambach – Forward: A memoir

Favourite TV programme: The Walking Dead

Favourite Film: The Hunger Games films

Favourite Actor/Actress: Emma Watson

Most enjoyable holiday location: Would have to be Castlefreke always go down to a beach house when we have a bit of time off or Crookhaven in West Cork. Sun, Sea and Sand. Sorted!

Marooned on a desert island what could you not be without: I would have to say my dog. Leaving him for a weekend training camp is tough.

Favourite sport other than rugby:  Soccer

The sport you least like: I like all sports, but I’d probably say cricket as I don’t understand it!

Person you would most like to meet: Jonny Wilkinson (Ex England rugby player)

Sportsperson you admire most: Nicola Scully

Hobbies: Cooking and baking definitely!

Where and when did you first play rugby: I started off playing rugby when I was 6-7 in Fermoy RFC with, my twin brother in the underage boys team as there wasn’t any girls teams back then and my love for it all started there.

Best career advice you were given: Effort produces results.

Best advice you would give yourself: Focus on what matters.

What you like most/least about being a rugby player: I really enjoy the contact and skill side of it, it’s a challenge. Least favourite has to be hearing the words ‘on the line’, it brings fear!

What you’re looking forward to most about a home World Cup: I think to be involved the atmosphere that will be around the games and build up, hopefully it will increase women’s rugby popularity in Ireland and make the women’s sport bigger in this country.

Other sports that you played: I’ve played nearly everything: football, hurling, soccer, fishing, taekwondo, hockey, tennis.

Best rugby memory: I think my first international cap, being presented and putting on the jersey for the first time, will always be a special memory I’ll have, and defiantly for every games. It’s a massive achievement, that I’ve wanted since I can remember was to play for Ireland.

Rugby team you admire most: Our own Irish women’s rugby team, to see the pride and passion and to be involved, playing with the girls I’ve looked up to for years, it’s absolutely incredible, and an honour.

Sporting event you would most like to attend: To play in the Women’s world cup final!

How do you like to pass away the time on tour in between training: Just literally relax, watch a movie, have a bit of fun, go for a coffee or sleep.

Three people you would invite to dinner and why:

Johnny Wilkinson:
I’d love to hear about his views on the game and his career.
Maggie Alphonsi: The first Irish women’s game I went to was in 2006 in Thomond Park, we were ball girls. I was amazed by her skill and athleticism; the game didn’t go Ireland’s way, but she was amazing for England.
Joe Schmidt: His knowledge and philosophy around training would, I’d say, be a good thing to learn.

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