Sophie Spence

Former Grand Slam Winner

  • Sophie retired from international rugby in December 2017 having achieved 40 caps for Ireland
  • An integral part of Ireland’s most successful women’s rugby team ever, who won the Grand Slam in 2013 and the Six Nations in 2015
  • Set up Spence Rugby Academy rugby camps across the country to give young girls the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in the sport
  • Has a BSc Sports Coaching Science degree, MSc In Sports Psychology
  • Originally from Newcastle in the UK, Sophie’s mum is from Belfast, she is very proud of her Irish heritage and to play for Ireland
  • Speaker on many topics including Pushing for Progress

Key Achievements

  • Grand Slam Winner 2013, Six Nations Winner 2015
  • In 2015 Spence was a nominee for the World Rugby player of the year, RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year and was named the Guinness Rugby writer’s Player of the Year.
  • Played in the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014 and 2017
  • 40 Caps for Ireland over her career

About Sophie Spence

Sophie was integral part of Ireland’s most successful women’s rugby team ever. She helped Ireland win two 6 Nations tournament in 2013 (Grand Slam) and in 2015. She played in two Women’s rugby World Cup in 2017 and 2017. And has the accolade of being part of the team that beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup in 2014. In 2015 she was a nominee for the World Rugby player of the year, RTE sportsperson of the year and was the Guinness Rugby writer’s player of the year. During that time, she also played with her club Old Belvedere and lined up for Leinster Rugby. In December 2017 Spence made the decision to retire from International Rugby. Always a firm favourite with fans, Spence had been part of the squad since 2012. In March 2018 she made her debut for the Barbarians Women’s team.

Developing the Sport of rugby for young girls has always been a passion for Sophie. She has worked as a rugby development officer in Tallaght and Clondalkin with Leinster rugby and in DCU. This passion leads her to become a socialpreneur, setting up Spence Rugby Academy camps across the country to give young girls the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in the sport whilst developing transferable life skills such as team work and leadership. Sophie has strong coaching credentials with a BSc Sports Coaching Science degree, MSc In Sports Psychology and has a Teaching Certificate.

Sophie now shares her time between Ireland and Wales where she lives with her long-term girlfriend.

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