THREE Kilkenny camogie players are shining as All-Stars in Australia.
With camogie growing in popularity Down Under, the local trio have made a name for themselves while playing one of their native sports on the other side of the world.
Rachel Hogan, Loretta Murphy and Keira Kinahan have swapped club camogie with Tullaroan, Barrow Rangers and Ballyhale Shamrocks respectively for clubs in Sydney.
Rachel is a niece of well-known camogie players Imelda and Esther Kennedy. She has played camogie at under-age level with Tullaroan, St Lachtain’s and Kilkenny.
Based in Australia for almost three years, she has an aunt from Kilkenny and an uncle from Derry living in Sydney also.
Hogan, who is currently working in the motor industry in Bondi Junction, plays her camogie with the Sydney-based Michael Cusacks club, who have just enjoyed a very successful year.
Cusacks reached the league final, which they narrowly lost, before beating Central Coast in the New South Wales championship final.
Both Keira Kinahan and Loretta Murphy featured for Central Coast, another well-known club in Australia.
It was Michael Cusacks’ first championship title since 2005.
Following on from the championship win players from Michael Cusacks and Central Coast formed part of a divisional team who competed in the Australian Games. An annual competition held in Brisbane, it was the first time that New South Wales could field a team to represent the states.
The Cusacks reached the semi-final stage, producing good solid performances along the way.
Following the finals the camogie All-Stars team was named. In a great achievement for Kilkenny the county had Hogan, Murphy and Kinahan named in the selection.
Kinahan has played senior for Kilkenny in the past. A recruitment agent based in Sydney, she was corner-back on the Kilkenny team that narrowly lost out to Tipperary in the 2006 All-Ireland senior semi-final.
Murphy also plays football for the Central Coast. In 2010 she was named as part of the Irish team who played the Sydney Women’s AFL team in an International Rules Series for the Irish Australians Cup.