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Briggs ‘Delighted’ To Take Up Captain’s Role For Munster

Briggs ‘Delighted’ To Take Up Captain’s Role For Munster

Head coach Wayne Falvey has appointed star full-back Niamh Briggs as captain of the Munster Women’s team as they bid to retain their Interprovincial Championship title for 2015/16.

As one of the country’s most experienced players, Niamh Briggs captained Ireland in last season’s Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship when they claimed the trophy for the second time.

Waterford native Niamh, now 30, began her rugby career at Dungarvan aged 21 before making a move to senior rugby with Clonmel.

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The Limerick-based Garda currently plays club rugby for UL Bohemians and will by flanked by her Ireland colleague, Highfield’s Heather O’Brien, who has been named Munster’s assistant captain.

Since her Munster debut in 2006, Briggs has claimed a total of six interprovincial titles and has been capped for her province on 22 occasions. The full-back has played in two Women’s Rugby World Cups and was instrumental in Ireland’s historic win over New Zealand last August.

As a sporting all-rounded, she represented Waterford in All-Ireland Intermediate Gaelic football in 2010 and that year also competed in the Women’s Rugby World Cup in England.

Awarded the Munster, Ireland and Scrumqueens.com World Player of the Year awards in 2013, Briggs was the leading points scorer in Ireland’s Six Nations Grand Slam success that year, scoring three tries and kicking 28 points.

Leading by example, she was pivotal in Ireland’s must-win 2015 Six Nations title decider against Scotland, scoring a try and kicking 12 points in a memorable 73-3 victory. She lifted the trophy on the occasion of her 50th international cap.

Speaking about her appointment as Munster skipper, Niamh said: “I was delighted when I was asked to captain my home club and it is a huge honour to represent the province. Munster has a unique culture which has always been about spirit and I feel very humbled to be a part of it.

“I am a strong advocate for the interpros and it’s great to see so many new girls come into our squad this season. We’ve worked incredibly hard for the last 14 weeks and the lads behind the scenes have put an enormous amount of effort into getting us ready for the Championship.

“It’s also great to see an ‘A’ squad introduced this year giving more players a pathway for provincial rugby. These players will go back to their clubs after the interpros, having gained lots of experience which raises the standard of club rugby throughout the province.

“There are a lot of young talented players in both squads and I have no doubt many of them will go on to play for Ireland in the future.”

Munster begin the defence of interpro crown against Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday, August 22 (kick-off 3pm), before hosting Ulster and Leinster at Thomond Park over the following two Saturdays (August 29 and September 5). The latter two games will kick off at 2.30pm

MUNSTER WOMEN’S Squad (2015/16 Season): Amy Desmond (Highfield), Anneline Weinmann (Ballincollig)*, Aoife Moore (Highfield)*, Chloe Pearse (Shannon)*, Ciara Griffin (Tralee), Clodagh O’Halloran (St. Senan’s)*, Danielle Morgan (Highfield)*, Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird (Highfield), Edel Murphy (UL Bohemians)*, Elaine Anthony (Highfield), Ellen Murphy (Highfield)*, Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians), Gerda Coyne (Highfield), Heather O’Brien (Highfield), Jayne Pennefather (Highfield)*, Kate McCarthy (Shannon)*, Laura O’Mahony (Tralee), Leah Lyons (Highfield), Linda McNamara (Ballincollig)*, Lisa Loughnane (St. Senan’s)*, Liz Burke (UL Bohemians)*, Maura Collins (Abbeyfeale), Mona Fehily (Highfield), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians) (capt), Niamh English (Highfield), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians), Niamh O’Sullivan (UL Bohemians)*, Nicola Scully (Highfield), Roisin Ormond (Highfield), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee), Valerie Power (Shannon)*, Zoe Grattage (Highfield).

* Denotes uncapped player

MUNSTER WOMEN’S Management Team –

Head Coach – Wayne Falvey
Assistant Coach – David Sweeney
Team Manager – Dara O’Tuama
Physio – Joe Normolye
Strength & Conditioning – Danielle Cunningham & Kieran O’Byrne