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Leinster Women Gear Up For Interpro Opener

Leinster Women Gear Up For Interpro Opener

The IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship kicks off this weekend. Leinster’s Cathrina O’Donoghue brings us up to date with the Blues’ preparations ahead of their clash against Connacht at Donnybrook on Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm).

It is that time of year again as the IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship is about to kick off. Next weekend will see the girls in blue take on Connacht in the heart of Leinster Rugby, Donnybrook Stadium, on Sunday at 2.30pm.

The Leinster girls have been training extremely hard on the pitch and in the gym and can see the benefits that fitness coach Sammi Dowling achieved. The girls are fitter, stronger and hopefully mentally tougher this season.  

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There is competition in all areas with a lot of players putting their hands up for selection which will give head coach Philip Doyle a huge headache.

There is a good mix of girls who are really coming together and creating a great atmosphere within Leinster.

The introduction of some new exciting players will hopefully boost Leinster’s chances of bringing home the trophy.

Players such as Amy Davis, in her second season with Blackrock, a dynamic player with blistering pace, Rachel Vickers, who brings experience to the Leinster side as an ex-English international, Nora Stapleton who plays for Old Belvedere RFC, Suzanne Hughes, a dynamic and strong forward from St. Mary’s College RFC, Fiona Brian, who plays for UCD and competes in the Leinster Women’s Development League, and Aoife Tyrell, a young player who has progressed from the Leinster Under-18 Girls development squad last season.

Leinster Women’s Chair Cathrina O’Donoghue said: “This season wouldn’t be possible for us without the help and support we receive from the Leinster Branch staff and our sponsors.

“This season sees the return of PHILIPS as our main sponsor, AirCoach as our travel partner and new for this season is RAW CONDITION as our gym partner.”

Head coach Philip Doyle said: “The players are really looking forward to the start of the Interpro series. The work they have been putting in has been second to none, with up to three gym sessions and two pitch sessions a week.

“The workload has been huge for them and I have pushed them very hard so far. All they need now is a game to see if we can put it all into practice.”

The Leinster Women played a training game against a Leinster Club selection last weekend which Doyle described as ‘a chance to finalise my starting fifteen for the first match against Connacht next Sunday.’

He added: “From here on we will take it one match at a time, but needless to say we will have to be at are very best throughout the Interpros as the standard is improving year on year in the women’s game.

“Munster have been setting the standards for so long now and I think it’s time to bring some more hard earned silverware back to Leinster.”

Tania Rosser and Fiona Coghlan, both long-standing players for Leinster and Ireland, have been named as co-captains for the season.

Tania explains: “Goose (Philip Doyle) and I work well together and I have a good understanding of how he wants the game to be played as I’ve have already had the experience of him coaching me in the Irish set-up.

“He’s very organised, has high expectations and is extremely dedicated to his coaching, which makes everything else fall into place.

“The girls know exactly what is expected of them and what lies ahead. This should be a great season for the Leinster Women’s squad.”

2009/2010 Leinster Women’s Squad:

Forwards –

Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians), Yvonne Nolan (Blackrock), Shirley Corcoran (Blackrock), Emer McManamly (Blackrock), Zofia Pherson (Blackrock), Fiona O’Brien (UCD), Shona Doyle (St. Mary’s College), Caroline Mahon (UL Bohemians), Rachel Vickers (Clondalkin), Mary Louise (Maz) Reilly (Navan), Deirdre O’Brien (Blackrock), Jen Leacy (Blackrock), Orla Brennan (Blackrock), Sinead Ryan (Navan), Debbie Clarke (Blackrock), Suzanne Hughes (St. Mary’s College). 

Backs –

Tania Rosser (Blackrock), Liz Comerford (Blackrock), Shannon Houston (Blackrock), Amy Davis (Blackrock), Grace Davitt (Blackrock), Sinead Delaney (Blackrock), Julie Doyle (Blackrock), Aoife Tyrell (Blackrock), Claire Peters (Blackrock), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere), Gill Lalor (St. Mary’s College), Jackie Shiels (Richmond).

Coaching and Backroom Staff –

Phillip (Goose) Doyle – Head coach
Sammi Dowling – Strength and Conditioning coach
Niamh Hughes – Team manager
Michael Kelly – Assistant manager
Dave Brennan – Baggage master

2009 Women’s Interprovincial Fixtures:

Leinster v Connacht, Donnybrook, Sunday, October 18, 2.30pm
Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, Saturday, October 17, 5.30pm

Munster v Leinster, Ballincollig RFC, Saturday, October 31, 2.30pm
Ulster v Connacht, Ravenhill, Saturday, October 31, 2.30pm

Ulster v Leinster, City of Derry RFC, Saturday, November 14, kick-off tbc
Connacht v Munster, The Sportsground, Saturday, November 14, 2pm

Women’s Interprovincial Finals, Donnybrook, Sunday, November 29, kick-offs tbc