18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Captains Patrique Kelly (Munster) and Caroline Mahon (Leinster) chat with IWRFU Press Officer Alison Donnelly ahead of Saturday's Interpro final at Clontarf RFC.
IWRFU INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, November 26
Final - Munster v Leinster, 2.30pm
3rd/4th Place Play-Off - Connacht v Ulster, 1.00pm, both at Castle Avenue, Clontarf RFC
Preview: Munster and Leinster will battle it out this Saturday for the Women's Senior Interprovincial title. Munster are the reigning champions and are bidding for their fourth consecutive title. However Leinster became the first team in four seasons to beat the current champions, when they travelled to Musgrave Park a few weeks ago and took all three points in a 12-5 win.
Saturday's hosts Leinster will be favourites now to claim their first ever Interprovincial crown as they have looked very impressive in their round games (beating Connacht (47-3) and Ulster (20-0) as well). Blackrock and Ireland scrum-half Tania Rosser will be a key player for Leinster in the decider.
Munster, who have beaten Ulster (40-0) and Connacht (34-0) in the series, are still hurting from that loss to Leinster, and showed a good improvement against Connacht at Crowley Park last Saturday. They are led by Irish centre Patrique Kelly.
QUOTES: Patrique Kelly (Munster)
- ON THE WIN AGAINST CONNACHT -
"It was a lot tougher out there than what we had thought but it is always a struggle against Connacht because they always come out strongly (against us). We made a number of really unacceptable handling errors in the first hour and there was really no excuse for it and we can't afford to make those mistakes against Leinster because they will punish us. We could have scored a lot more early on but we kept dropping the final pass and that's an area we need to improve on."
- ON THE HUNGER FOR ANOTHER TITLE -
"There needs to be a lot more passion in how we play. We were very frustrated that things weren't working for us against Connacht but if we believe we are good enough we can come through this game and win it."
Leinster lock and skipper Caroline Mahon taking a lineout against Ulster last season
QUOTES: Caroline Mahon (Leinster)
- ON THE WIN AGAINST ULSTER -
"We were obviously very happy with the result (against Ulster) but there were a lot of things we identified as areas we need to improve on. We played well in patched but against Munster this Saturday, we will have to play well for the entire game. Over the last number of years Leinster have been stepping up all the time and things have really improved this season."
- ON BEATING MUNSTER AT MUSGRAVE PARK -
"That game is irrelevant now. Neither team played well on the day and we know this weekend it won't be easy and the result could come down to the last five minutes because there's nothing between us."
- ON THIS SEASON'S IMPROVEMENTS -
"We are not thinking about that game (last year's 20-20 final draw which saw Munster retain the title) now - our entire focus is on winning the one ahead of us. This year in Leinster, we feel we have got the right balance in the team. Our pack is strong and we now have a very good backline so we don't have just one or the other which we may have relied on before."