Ronan O’Gara thankful Bríd Stack will make a full recovery

Ireland rugby legend Ronan O’Gara says he was relieved to hear that Cork legend Bríd Stack avoided serious injury in her AFLW debut.

The 11 time All Ireland winner suffered a fracture of her C7 vertebra when playing for the Greater Western Sydney Giants in a warm up match against the Adelaide Crows. Stack was reportedly millimetres away from being paralysed, but is set to make a full recovery.

Crows midfielder Ebony Marinoff was initially suspended for three games for her part in the incident however that was later quashed on appeal, which angered Stack when writing about the incident in the Irish Examiner.

O’Gara says he had been keeping an eye on Stack’s progress down under, and La Rochelle’s head coach told RedFM Sport it was a massive relief to hear that she was ok.

“It really affected me for a day or two, because once you hear anything with a spinal injury, it just gives you shivers down your spine, excuse the pun.

“It was a very worrying 48 hours. Obviously she’s from Cork, and we look after our own as we say, and you wanted to make sure [she was ok].

“She’s given so much in her football career, and then you’ve people saying ‘oh it could be her age then going out there and playing a game she’s not familiar with’, but that’s nonsense.

“Thankfully the scans revelled everything was good, but I think there has been a little bit of a falling out from the hearing, which is disappointing.

“But the most important thing is she’s fit and healthy and she’ll go again.”

Ronan was speaking to Valerie Wheeler at the launch of the Aviva Mini Rugby Virtual Skills Hub, which will take place over next week’s mid-term break from Monday 15th to Friday 19th February 2021. Aviva’s Safe To Dream Team online skills hub aims to improve access for young people on their sporting journey within clubs or at home. To take part, and to be in with a chance to win prizes for your family or kit for your club, and receive discounts on your car and home insurance, families and clubs across Ireland are invited to sign up at

You can listen to Ronan’s interview in full on the Big Red Bench this Saturday at 6pm


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