Katie chosen on Irish panel
Major rugby breakthrough
Former Wexford Vixens player Katie Fitzhenry is included in the Irish ladies' international squad to begin preparations for the Six Nations championship.
To compete at the highest level it was necessary for Katie to move to a Senior club. Having decided to join Blackrock, her progress has been rapid. She has been part of the international sevens set-up for a while, but her inclusion in the Senior international squad has copper-fastened her progress.
Katie has been excellent in most sports, having participated in athletics and G.A.A. over the years, but her rise in rugby has been rapid since starting out with the Wexford Vixens under coach Noel Ferguson.
Her first venture into rugby was with the Loreto School tag team, and it was obvious from day one that she was a special talent. Over the course of several seasons Katie progressed into full contact rugby and was one of the founder members of the Wexford Wanderers Vixens' side.
Katie's talent was nurtured not only through her own hard work but also her club coaches, Noel Ferguson and Fintan Bolger. She became involved in a number of Development squads at provincial level while also participating in trials for the full Leinster squad before progressing on to Blackrock. She then made her debut for Leinster in a 30-3 victory over Ulster in 2010.
Following a tough grind with Blackrock, she has now won her way into the international squad at a time when ladies' rugby is on a high in the country, having won the Grand Slam followed on by their heroics in the World Cup.
It's a richly-deserved reward for the Wexford girl.