Sarah Beaney: Formidable back-row star remembered

Sarah Beaney: Formidable back-row star remembered

The Sarah Beaney Cup final has become a highlight of the women’s season, with the trophy contested for at Silver Saturday every season.

In 2006, the Cup was emblazoned with the name Sarah Beaney, in honour of the Murrayfield Wanderers and Scotland A back-row forward who tragically lost her life in 2005.

Sarah began playing rugby in 1993 during her first year at Moray House College in Edinburgh where she studied for four years. During her time there, she represented the Scottish Universities team and subsequently went on to captain Scotland Women’s A squad.

When Sarah wasn’t in the scrum, she was involved as a coach leading on touch and tag rugby, as well as school XV teams at McLaren High School in Callander, where she was a teacher.

Sarah sadly lost her life in a car crash on her way to school from her home in Stirling in 2005. The accident happened just a month short of her 30th birthday.

Her last match was for Murrayfield Wanderers on her home pitch in the Women’s Cup final on April 30 2005.

With her loss felt deeply by the women’s rugby community in Scotland, the decision was made by Sandra Kinear, President of the Scottish Women’s Rugby Union to name the silverware after Sarah, a move unanimously supported.

Scotland internationals and former team-mates of Sarah’s Rhona Hume and Mary-Pat McFarlane, joined the Official Scottish Rugby Podcast this week, sharing what it means to them and all those who loved Sarah, that her name and legacy lives on through the cup.

Rhona, who earned 53 caps for her country, said: “Sarah was amazing fun. She had an incredibly hard tackle, incredibly fierce on field but off-field, full of fun. She would turn up to games in flip-flops, board shorts and a cowboy hat. She’d be the first person to buy her opposite number a drink after a match.

“Sarah had been a phenomenal part of Scottish women’s rugby, and we were delighted when the decision was made for her name to be attributed to the cup.”

Mary-Pat not only played with Sarah, but also against her. The 34-cap international said: “I was playing in the back-row at the time, as was she. I remember being in the tail of a line out and she smiled at me, but it wasn’t a friendly one, it was a ‘I’m coming for you’ smile!”

Hear more from Rhona and Mary-Pat as they share their fond memories of Sarah in this week’s Official Scottish Rugby Podcast, below.

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