Edel McMahonEdel McMahon


Edel McMahon, born on March 25, 1994, in Limerick, Ireland, is an esteemed flanker in women’s rugby. Growing up in Kilmihil, Co Clare, McMahon’s athletic prowess was evident early on, having excelled in ladies Gaelic football before transitioning to rugby during her college years at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Since then, her career in rugby has flourished, marked by significant achievements both domestically and internationally.

Club Career

  • NUIG (2012-2016): McMahon started her rugby career at the university level, where she quickly developed her skills and passion for the sport.
  • Galwegians (2013-2019): She first played at a senior club level here, making a solid impact on the team.
  • Connacht (2013-2019): Concurrently with Galwegians, she represented Connacht, enhancing her experience at the interprovincial level.
  • Wasps (2019-2022): After the 2019 Women’s Six Nations, McMahon moved to England to join the Wasps, aiming to gain Premier 15s experience.
  • Exeter Chiefs Women (2022-Present): Currently, McMahon plays for the Exeter Chiefs, continuing to exhibit her exceptional skills and leadership on the field.

International Career

McMahon’s international debut for the Ireland women’s national rugby union team was as impactful as her club career:

  • Barbarians (2017): Before playing for Ireland, she was selected for the first women’s Barbarians team.
  • Ireland (2018-present): Since her debut in the 2018 Women’s Six Nations, McMahon has earned 21 caps. Notable matches include her first start in the 2018 Autumn Internationals and consistent performances as Ireland’s regular openside flanker during the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.

Key Sporting Moments

  • Injury Challenges: McMahon’s journey has been punctuated by challenges, including an Achilles injury in 2017 that delayed her international debut, and a knee injury in 2021 that kept her out of the Six Nations campaign.
  • Awards and Recognition: Her performance in the 2020 Six Nations earned her a nomination for Irish senior Player of the Year by Rugby Player Ireland.
  • Historic Selections: Her selection for the inaugural women’s Barbarians team in 2017 highlights her standing in the sport.


  • Women’s Barbarians Team (2017): McMahon’s selection for this prestigious team underscores her exceptional talent and the respect she commands in women’s rugby.

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