5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
The inaugural Paul Flood Memorial Cup (Leinster Women's Cup) is to be contested between St. Mary's College RFC and Old Belvedere RFC, both teams having come though a tough grouping that saw Blackrock College RFC missing out on place by way of points difference to St. Mary's.
Old Belvedere have gone from strength to strength this season. Following some excellent recruitment in the summer, they have maximised their resources and look set to be promoted to the top division next season.
The Old Belvedere team boasts a number of the Leinster squad and look set to be a formidable force in Division 1, but for now their sights are firmly set on the cup this Sunday.
This season St. Mary's have contested well in their first year in the top flight and have much to be proud of. In the league they stand with four victories to their name against well established and skilled teams.
The women of St. Mary's have worked tirelessly over the season to expand their skills and develop a strong and dynamic game plan. The fruits of this have been seen in the recent cup run of 109 points scored in three matches.
St. Mary's and Old Belvedere have played each other three times this season in training matches and have forged an excellent partnership in the development of each other's teams.
It is only fitting that these two partners meet in a grand final where all the friendly training matches are put aside and the intense rivalry of a cup final fans the flames in both teams.
It will be a fascinating contest and the celebrations will match. Two teams with rugby in their heart, holding all the principles of rugby together, with excellent partnership, compelling rivalry and a healthy dose of respect
Also up for grabs by the spectators is a 42" flat screen TV kindly donated by PHILIPS, the proud sponsors of the Leinster Women's squad.
PHILIPS have been of great support of the province's players and of Leinster Women's rugby in general.
Paul Flood took a keen interest in the development of Women's rugby in St. Mary's by helping out in whatever manner he could before assuming the mantle of coach when the call came.
He fulfilled that role with the same enthusiasm he put into every other aspect of his rugby career and he was a strong advocate and promoter in improving the facilities, administration and coaching/training support for the women's game.
He was dedicated to his squad and believed in trying to ensure that all members got their share of 'game-time'.
Under his guidance, St. Mary's made tremendous strides reaching the All-Ireland Women's League Division 2 semi-final in the year of his passing, 2008, and going on from that to achieve success in the same competition the following year.
Paul also guided the team to the 2008 All-Ireland Bowl final against UL and although defeated, St. Mary's put up a storming performance against the All-Ireland League champions.
Paul was immensely proud of the success and achievement of the squad and the memories of the day and celebrations with Paul will be forever cherished by the girls.
He was highly respected by opposing sides, his passion for the game still remains as an inspiration to those members of the squad who served under him. They and the club will forever be grateful to Paul for his input.