19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
The northerners' panel is captained by Stacey-Lea Kennedy from City of Derry. She is backed up by vice-captain Grace Davitt from Cooke.
With the inclusion this season of Amy Davis, who returns to Ulster colours after a few years away, the squad has strength in depth in all positions.
Experience will count for a lot this term and with Ireland internationals Kennedy, Davitt, Ashleigh Baxter, Nikki Caughey and Davis providing the back bone, Ulster are hoping to cause an upset or two along the way.
The squad is full of very talented new players that could prove a handful this season. The likes of Gemma McCutcheon, Jemma Jackson, Danielle Boyd and Colette Broome, to name a few, have all impressed greatly over the past few months and will be pushing very hard for selection.
The Ulster Women have been able to work in partnership with Queen's University this season with the use of facilities.
The facilities at Queen's University playing fields are now state of the art and have provided the squad with a great venue to train and also play. Some training sessions also took place at Portadown Rugby Club who were very kind in accommodating the Ulster players.
Ulster Rugby hope to build on the relationship with Queen's University over the next few years to provide the Women's squad with the best facilities available, and in connection with the Queen's Rugby Academy allow Women's rugby in Ulster to grow and compete on the highest stage.
Ulster's Interprovincial Championship opener is against Munster at Queen's Arena pitch, Malone Road on Sunday, December 2 (kick-off 1pm). Admission into the game is free.
The Ulster girls are then on the road for the next two weekends, away to Leinster on Saturday, December 8 at Ashbourne RFC (kick-off 1.30pm) and Connacht on Saturday, December 15 at the Sportsground (kick-off 2.30pm).
ULSTER WOMEN'S Squad (2012 Interprovincial Championship): Aoife Walsh, Laura Boyd, Danielle Boyd, Fiona O'Brien, Colleen Magee, Ashleigh Baxter, Nikki Caughey, Alanagh Chipperfield, Ilse Van Staden, Shirelle Wilson, Grace Davitt, Amy Davis, Jemma Jackson, Zoe Templeton, Nikita Armstrong, Claire McLaughlin, Gemma McCutcheon, Caoimhe Morris, Brenda Brogan, Noreen Nethercott, Sorcha Chipperfield, Hannah Kilgore, Imogen Porter, Lizzie Ballentine, Stacey-Lea Kennedy (capt), Kellie Holmes, Colette Broome, Janine Mullan, Teah Maguire, Laura Feely.