Women in Rugby Round 2024: Perth Irish's Caroline McGlone

Thu, Jun 27, 2024, 2:00 AM
by RugbyWA Media

Caroline McGlone was instrumental in setting up the Women’s Rugby program at Perth Irish. 

After seeing a recruitment post for a new club in 2016, Caroline reached out to Sheamus Walshe at Perth Irish in the hopes of joining. However, in their first year, they didn’t have enough women to play. 

“We didn’t have enough interest initially to form a women’s team,” Caroline said. “Instead, we played touch rugby.” 

A year later, Caroline joined Perth Irish’s committee, and established herself as part of the club’s playing group. Championing a women’s side, Perth Irish successfully established their first women’s team in 2017, entering their inaugural season.  


Now, eight seasons later, Perth Irish’s women’s team is going strong. 

“Rugby has always been a huge part of my life, creating so many positive experiences, memories, and opportunities,” she shared. 

Having been with Perth Irish since its beginnings, Caroline's truly been able to see the rugby community, and particularly the women’s game, grow. 

“My closest friendships have been made through the sport. Rugby has given me a sense of belonging with purpose. I am proud to belong to a community stronghold who embrace equality and diversity.” 

“It’s a sport for all walks of life, regardless of race, gender, background, or sexual orientation. You are accepted for who you are, regardless of ability. I’ve had the privilege to meet some amazing, interesting individuals along the way, some of which have had a significant influence and positive impact on my life.” 


As a woman in rugby, Caroline says the sport is empowering, inspiring women to go further physically, and to push themselves out of their comfort zones. 

“Rugby provides an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and break down barriers. It’s empowering to push yourself physically and mentally, building resilience, endurance, and confidence,” Caroline said. 

“There’s a significant focus on teamwork and community, forming strong bonds while developing new skills.” 

It's an experience she enjoys, being involved in the journey of others, and seeing more women become involved in rugby. 

“I love to see women push the boundaries, support each other, and celebrate the small wins. I believe that everyone deserves equal opportunity.” 

“If I can help be part of someone’s journey, or create a positive experience, that’s the most rewarding aspect for me. It’s about growing the game, helping others achieve and believe in themselves,” she shared. 


As for why more women should get involved in rugby, Caroline shares that she believes the sport helps to develop core life skills and values. 

"Leadership, respect, discipline, resilience to name a few,” she said. “If these life skills are instilled early on, they will carry through with you for the rest of your life. The benefits flow through to the emotional and social wellbeing, creating opportunity to grow personally.” 

“Women are proving that they can compete at all levels. We’ve seen that recently in the Six Nations, World Cup and 7’s series. My advice would be to give it a go, you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.” 

“Personally, I can attest to that.” 


Eight years after joining Perth Irish, Caroline became Perth Irish’s first player to reach fifty caps for the women’s side. From the early days at the club, to being a commendable member of their board and a history-making player, Caroline is truly a standout member of the women’s rugby community.  

A beloved community member, a dedicated player and committee member, she truly champions the spirit of rugby in all she does. With a genuine love, passion and dedication to the sport, Caroline is truly the pinnacle of what it means to be a woman in rugby. 


Women in Rugby Round kicks off this Saturday, with all Senior Women's and Junior Girls teams playing at Tompkins Park. Caroline’s Perth Irish Community X’s side is set to play Wanneroo at 12:30PM on Field 2.