Lions sign multi-talented Irish star as a cross-sport rookie

THE IRISH contingent in the AFL Women's has expanded to eight, with Orla O'Dwyer signing with Brisbane as a cross-sport rookie.

The multi-talented O'Dwyer plays both camogie (women's hurling) and Gaelic football for County Tipperary, the same Gaelic team as the Western Bulldogs' Aisling McCarthy.

The 20-year-old is also the captain of her camogie side.

O'Dwyer was connected to the Lions through the Crosscoders program, which has facilitated a number of Irish AFLW signings over the past two years.

"AFLW is something completely new for me and I'm looking forward to the challenge that's involved with learning a new sport and living in a completely different country," O'Dwyer told Brisbane's website.

"I think it's great for women's sport to have this opportunity and I've decided to choose AFLW while I'm still very young and because it's such a great experience."

Coach Craig Starcevich said O'Dwyer has the attributes to suit AFLW.

"She's a tremendous athlete who's got great power and speed but is tough, too," he said.

"Watching the way she attacks a game in both camogie and football, well, there was a lot to like about the way she goes about it."

Brisbane's women's CEO Breeana Brock said O'Dwyer was a "special kind of person".

"Not often are you really drawn to someone so quickly, but we felt that right away with Orla. She's already so professional with the way she manages her time between two sports, university and work so we knew she could handle the demands of AFLW." 

Irish AFLW players:

Ailish Considine (Adelaide)
Orla O'Dwyer (Brisbane)
Sarah Rowe (Collingwood)
Yvonne Bonner (GWS)
Cora Staunton (GWS)
Grace Kelly (West Coast)
Niamh Kelly (West Coast)
Aisling McCarthy (Western Bulldogs)