5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
Approximately 200 players representing ten third level teams from all four provinces will compete in two separate divisions.
"We're absolutely delighted to have won the bid to host this year's tournament and we're confident the Championships will be a great success," said Louise Kelly, NUI Galway captain and a Galway native.
The Moylough forward will be hoping to lead her team, coached by Darragh Keady and Simon Lawless, into its first Championship final since 2010 when NUIG were defeated by perennial winners University of Limerick (UL).
It is hoped the tournament will bolster the ever-increasing interest in women's rugby nationwide, especially within the province whose women's representative team have experienced a fantastic resurgence in recent seasons.
Connacht women's rugby has also been boosted by the growing numbers of underage and senior players across the five counties.
"We're hoping to organise an underage exhibition game as part of the event to demonstrate the growth in the girls' game, but to also show such players that they needn't stop their rugby playing days once they leave school," added Kelly.
Women's college rugby currently boasts a number of high profile players within its ranks. Among those taking part are Ireland international Alison Miller (UCC), Munster stalwarts Sarah Jane Cody and Ashling Hutchings (UL) and Connacht duo Carol Staunton and Heather Cary who will line out for the host institution.