The Irish Rugby Football Union today announced the Ireland Under-18 Girls Sevens squad to take part in the 2014 Sainsbury's UK School Games which will take place in Manchester from September 4-7.
The 12-strong squad were selected after 200 girls, from a wide range of sporting backgrounds including GAA, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, basketball and rugby, attended open screening days held throughout the country in April.
The selected panel of players is coached by Stan McDowell and captained by Jayne Pennefather. Jayne and her team-mates Meabh Donohoe, Irene Herlihy and Shannen Lane were part of the Irish squad which finished fourth in the tournament last year.
Announcing the current squad, McDowell said: "We are delighted to name the squad to take place in the UK School Games in Manchester. Women's rugby is on a high after great performances by the senior team in recent years and we were very pleased to have had over 200 girls from across the country try out for the squad in early April.
"The UK School Games represents a fantastic opportunity for the 12 girls selected to participate in a multi-sport event featuring 12 different sports with over 1,700 athletes creating an experience they will long remember."
IRELAND UNDER-18 GIRLS SEVENS Squad (Sainsbury's UK School Games, Manchester, September 4-7, 2014):
Less than a week after lifting the RBS 6 Nations trophy, Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has won the RBS Player of the Championship award. Securing over 26% of the public vote, the Limerick man received the backing of 18,842 fans.
They needed a 27-point winning margin against Scotland. They got that and more. The Ireland Women's team captured their second Women's RBS 6 Nations title in style at Broadwood Stadium - relive their Championship winning day in our exclusive video.
It was nail-biting, nerve shredding and epic! Relive Ireland's RBS 6 Nations Championship day from the squad's arrival at Murrayfield to the trophy presentation in our exclusive tunnel and pitch cam video.
Larissa Muldoon, now a two-time Women's RBS 6 Nations winner, is part of an all-Donegal half-back pairing for the Ireland Women. She spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the developing clubs in her own county.
Ireland Women's lock Orla Fitzsimons describes how she was a supporter in the stands for the 2013 Grand Slam success, and now, two years on, she has a Women's RBS 6 Nations winners' medal around her neck.
Niamh Briggs had a day to remember as she captained the Ireland Women's team to RBS 6 Nations title glory. The Waterford star, who scored the first try in the 73-3 win over Scotland, spoke to Irish Rugby TV afterwards.
Paying tribute to the Ireland supporters at Murrayfield, RBS 6 Nations winner Luke Fitzgerald said: "Thanks a million to the fans from the all guys. They were fantastic. We really felt their support out there, they were the '16th man' and helped us get over the line."
Sean O'Brien scored two tries and produced a man-of-the-match performance as Ireland beat Scotland 40-10 to finish top of the table and retain the RBS 6 Nations title. He spoke to Irish Rugby TV afterwards.
Speaking to Irish Rugby TV after the trophy presentation, RBS 6 Nations winner Robbie Henshaw said: "Words can't describe it...just the whole atmosphere, everyone in the stadium, just the way it ended out. It was pretty intense, the heart was rushing."
Enjoying the post-match celebrations at Murrayfield, RBS 6 Nations winner Rory Best said: "It's been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, the last hour. The crowd have been absolutely incredible. We're just delighted to give something back to them."