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Sports Development Service

Ciara McDonnellCiara Mcdonnell

Course of Study

Education and Training



Best DCU achievement

Making it to the semi final of the division 1 league 

Best non DCU achievement 

Winning a leinster league 1 final as captain  

Sporting hero

Paula Fitzpatrick, her determination and skill when playing rugby is incredible, she always has a good game and I love to watch her and try to get some tips from how she plays.

Career ambition 

I want to make it to international level at some point in my rugby career, no matter how long it takes.

How you got involved in the sport

I started playing when i was in 6th year after Sophie Spence came to our school and had a training session with us. After that, I joined a club and fell in love with the sport.

Favourite method of recovery

Going swimming to recover is my favourite method of recovery. It loosens my muscles and relaxes me before I get back to training for the next game.

Future up and coming star in your sport

Meabh Donoghue. This year was my first year getting to know Meabh and watching her play. She's an incredible player and such a lovely girl. She has big things coming in the sport

Favourite venue

Donnybrook stadium. This is where I won my leinster league title and have such good memories on the pitch. 

Best sports advice you have received

My club manager and my dad always tell me I need to get angry before a game. When I'm angry, I play my best 

Biggest challenge you have overcome in sport

I suppose recovering from injury is the biggest challenge I've overcome. I tore ligaments in my ankle playing a camogie match a few years back and I wasn't able to play a few important games in the middle of my rugby season. I just kept doing my rehab and got back as quick as possible.  

Pre-competition rituals/superstitions

I dont have any rituals for normal games, but if I'm playing a final I wrap some white tape around both wrists and get my manager to write 'JW' on the tape. It stands for 'Just win' and I have a look at it throughout the game to help motivate me a little more. 

Something we don't know about you

My family and I have always been a GAA family, with myself, my brother and my sister all playing for our county right up to adult level. I gave up camogie and GAA to focus on rugby, my family couldn't believe I was doing it but support me all the way.