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):
Ireland Women's Rugby stars gathered in Kingspan Stadium, Belfast to launch tickets for the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 final which will take place in the Kingspan Stadium in 365 days' time (August 26, 2017) and the semi-finals day, which takes place on August 22.
Tournament Director Garrett Tubridy sets the scene for an exciting weekend of rugby at UCD where 16 Women's Sevens teams will battle it out at for one qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie/sevens.
Tadhg Furlong reflects on a disappointing day for Ireland against South Africa. However, he will take positives from his first Test start and be ready to build for the final match of the series in Port Elizabeth.
Paddy Jackson is preparing for Ireland's second Test against South Africa on Saturday (kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time). The Ulster out-half has been checking out Ellis Park in advance of the match.
Nicole Cronin, the inaugural Irish Women's Sevens Player of the Year in 2014, is looking to make an impact on her return to the green jersey at this weekend's Rugby Europe Women's Sevens Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia.
The Ireland Women's 15-a-side captain Niamh Briggs was part of the Irish Development team that won the Amsterdam 7s title recently. Next up is the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Kazan, Russia this weekend and then a shot at Olympic Sevens qualification at UCD on June 25-26.
Experienced prop Andrew Porter speaks about the Ireland Under-20s' preparations for the World Rugby U-20 Championship and their opening pool encounter with Wales in Manchester later today (kick-off 5.30pm, live on TG4/Sky Sports 1).