Wildcat Rugby Alum Kennedy Joins FirstPoint USA

3 min read

Former Central Washington University rugby scholar Shona Kennedy has joined FirstPoint USA’s ever-expanding rugby department, starting her new role as Sports Consultant.

Kennedy, who played provincial rugby for Connacht before securing a scholarship with the CWU Wildcats in 2018, enjoyed five years on the women’s rugby program in Ellensburg, WA graduating last summer with a Master’s in Sports Psychology.

Originally from Westport in Ireland, she started out as a full-back in her freshman year, but switched to the forwards to play in the back row for her next three seasons, although her final year was hit by injury.

She played both 15s and 7s on the collegiate rugby circuit, and is looking forward to passing on her insights and experience to the next generation of aspiring rugby players who have their sights set on the US.

“I’m really excited to join the team at FirstPoint USA and it’s a great time to be involved with collegiate rugby with it being the fastest growing sport in the country. The profile of the women’s game is also on the rise and with both the Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cups heading to the States in the next decade, the interest in the game over there is getting bigger all the time.

“I loved my time at Central Washington University and I’m so happy I made the decision to go. To have the experience of playing full-time rugby while studying for a degree was a dream come true, and I’m passionate about helping other young players get that opportunity. The facilities for student-athletes in the States are incredible and coupled with the chance to travel all over the country and be part of such a close-knit team really is life-changing.

“FirstPoint USA are really committed to rugby and that’s been reflected in some of the great work they’ve been doing over the past few years, hosting trials all over the world, bringing in international players to support the activity, and investing in the team.

“We’ve seen many of our clients go onto play in Major League Rugby, return to play at a high level back home or go on to great careers related to their degree, which shows the different options that exist beyond collegiate rugby. We want to help young players with aspirations to continue playing at a high level, but with the backup of a top-class education.”

Kennedy joins Head of Rugby Jamie Berresford, a two-time All American and a winner of back-to-back national titles with Life University, and former Scotland international and Glasgow Warriors captain Ryan Wilson, FirstPoint USA’s rugby ambassador.

One of her first roles will be working on FirstPoint’s forthcoming rugby assessment trials, which kick-off in Athlone on Monday 15 January, followed by events in Bahrain, Qatar, Manchester, Sheffield, Stafford, London and Dublin over the next four weeks.

FirstPoint USA Rugby Trials - January & February Dates and Venues


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