Belfast Telegraph

Audrey O'Flynn leaves hockey to join Ireland rugby

By John Flack

Irish international Audrey O'Flynn has announced her retirement from hockey to concentrate on a new career in rugby sevens.

She becomes the second former Ireland player to do so after Lisa Jacob was among 19 players to be handed a central contract by the IRFU a few months ago.

Former Hermes player O'Flynn has now followed suit as Ireland's rugby sevens team bid to reach the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Ironically, that is also the target for the hockey team and the Cork native's decision to switch codes just three months before the start of the qualifying process is a major blow for national coach Darren Smith. However O'Flynn's departure y looks certain to signal a recall for Michelle Harvey.

The former Pegasus player, now captaining Belgian club Leuven, as a penalty corner specialist, looks like the obvious choice to fill the void.

The 25 year-old Ulster woman was dropped from the squad after helping Ireland to silver medals at the Champions Challenge tournament in Glasgow in June.

Having recovered from a niggling injury, Harvey is averaging just under a goal a game for Leuven - all of them from set pieces - while O'Flynn was also a specialist in that skill with 30 international goals to her name.

Menawhile, Pegasus moved to within three points of the top of the Premier League after a 5-0 win at Lisnagarvey, with goals from Vanessa Surgeoner, two, Grace Irwin, Kate McConnell and Taite Doherty.

Tonight: Premier League: Randalstown v Ulster Elks (7.30pm).

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