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Baxter Brimming With Confidence

Baxter Brimming With Confidence

Ulster’s Ashleigh Baxter is one of the brightest stars in Irish Women’s rugby and her stock could rise even further at the World Cup in France.

Ashleigh Baxter began playing Tag rugby and after joining a local club, she has progressed through Ulster’s development pathway to become a key player in the Ireland Women’s set-up.

It has been a memorable journey for the 22 year old, who told the province’s website: “I started playing Tag rugby, then joined a club in Lisburn before moving to Belfast Harlequins when I was 18.

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“When I started playing I don’t think I knew there was a World Cup for Women’s rugby and I definitely never thought I would make be playing for an Ireland squad at it.

“I can’t wait for the tournament to begin on Friday. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep at night with the excitement.

“Getting to play in a massive competition such as this, in front of big crowd and live TV and staying in a different country for that length of time is really exciting.”

Although it will be a fun few weeks for all involved, the tournament is the culmination of many years of work, with Baxter admitting that consistency in training has enabled them to be in a strong position.

“Since the start of the season all our preparations have been focused on the World Cup. The last few years has been similar training but we’ve just been building on it and the levels at training is getting more and more intense. Hopefully the hard work throughout the season will pay off in France.”

Following a disappointing performance against Spain, the girls bounced back to win their final World Cup warm-up fixture against Wales, with Baxter scoring one of the team’s four tries in a 27-7 win.

“That will stand us in good stead going into the first game against USA on Friday,” she said. “I’d say they will all be very very physical. We’ve got to match them in the physicality department and I’ve no doubt we can beat them.

“You don’t go to the World Cup unless you want to win and everybody believes we can. It will be very difficult to make the semi-finals as we really need to top our group to be sure of progressing.”