From Cameroon to front row for Ireland women
On her way to becoming a fully-fledged international, Ireland women’s prop Linda Djougang has taken the road less travelled.
Originally from Cameroon, she moved to the north Dublin town of Rush aged nine in 2005 – neither a rugby stronghold, as she readily admits.
“Obviously Cameroon is home. It’s the motherland, but I’m more Irish than Cameroonian, probably.”
After an initial dalliance with tag rugby as an 18-year-old, she joined Wanderers in the Leinster Senior League and a move to Old Belvedere eventually followed.
“My mum always told me: ‘If you want to be the best, you always have to follow what everyone is doing’. They have more than 10 players in Old Belvedere that play international. I just kept playing, learning from the likes of Ailis Egan, Maz Reilly, and Jenny Murphy.”
After being introduced to the Leinster set-up by Adam Griggs in 2017, the New Zealander called Djougang into the Ireland squad for this year’s Six Nations. She has earned three caps off the bench and is there once again for Sunday’s clash against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 1.30pm).
There are two changes to the Irish line-up, with Lindsay Peat and Ballinasloe teenager Beibhinn Parsons deputising for Laura Feely and Alison Miller respectively.
IRELAND: L Delany; E Considine, E Breen, S Naoupu, B Parsons; N Fowley, K Dane; L Peat, D Nic a Bhaird, F Reidy; A McDermott, N Fryday; C Griffin, C Molloy, C McLaughlin.
Replacements: E Hooban, L Djougang, L Feely, E McMahon, A Caplice, N Cronin, E Murphy, L Sheehan.