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):
The Ireland Under-18 Girls squad came away from last weekend's inaugural FIRA/AER Under-18 European Sevens Championship as Plate winners (fifth place overall). They won four of their six games in Enkoping, Sweden.
Ireland ran in 11 tries in all on Sunday as they overcame Italy and Portugal on the way to winning the Plate title at the inaugural FIRA/AER Under-18 European Girls Sevens Championship in Enkoping, Sweden.
Simple tips for young players to keep healthy throughout the season - 'Eat Well, Stay Well, Play Well' - it will benefit you on and off the field. For more check out #Eat2Compete or www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete
Speaking after the 3rd/4th place play-off defeat to France, Ireland Women's head coach Philip Doyle said: "Semi-final of a World Cup, ranked fourth - I'm absolutely thrilled with that. It's one step, we've learned a huge amount at this World Cup. We'll put it in the bank now and hopefully, in three years' time at the next World Cup, another Irish team will be there (competing in the last-four)."
The Ireland squad got their first taste of the new Canterbury training kit with new sponsor Three on board. Check out the gear as Cian Healy, Tommy Bowe and Devin Toner give us their thoughts and register for updates on shop.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking ahead of the Women's World Cup semi-final against England, Ireland head coach Philip Doyle said: "We're really looking forward to it, it's going to be a great occasion. I'm sure it will be like any another massive game in that it's all down to percentages."
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