A YOUNG Australian rugby player with family links to Dromore has been one of the star performers at the Women’s Rugby World Cup which was hosted in Ireland in recent weeks.
The competition reached a thrilling climax when New Zealand came from behind to defeat England 41-32 in Saturday evening’s showpiece final at the Kingspan Stadium.
Hours earlier Australia had to settle for a sixth place finish after losing to Canada at Queen’s University. For the Aussies the tournament had been a mixed bag with wins against Ireland and Japan among their highlights.
Their gifted number eight, Grace Hamilton is the great granddaughter of Claude Hamilton, who lived in the townland of Aghamore, Dromore. Grace helped the Aussies to a 36-24 win to condemn Ireland to the seventh-eighth play-off game and was the official player of the match in a 29-15 over the Japanese in Dublin, a game in which she scored a crucial try under the posts.
The talented back row player was cheered on by her dad John, mother Vivianna and brother Harry, who travelled to Dromore to see the family homestead at Lakemount on Friday.
“We were coming to the World Cup to see Grace play and decided to come to Dromore to see where my grandfather lived,” said John.
“We have been travelling around the west coast, Galway and that, been up to Belfast and around to the Giant’s Causeway.
“It’s our first time in Dromore, so yeah it’s been pretty exciting.”
Daughter Grace has enjoyed a meteoric rise from novice to playing on the international stage. The number eight only started playing rugby four years ago, having been introduced to the sport while studying in the States.
Prior to that she had played netball and was an accomplished athlete but the oval ball game quickly became her first love and now she plays her club rugby with Sydney University.
The 25-year-old has enhanced her reputation at the World Cup as one of the rising stars of the global game and on the evidence of her impressive performances the name Grace Hamilton is one we are likely to hear much more of in the coming years.
Posted: 11:10 am August 31, 2017