Ulster Women’s co-coaches Jarrett Truscott and Philip Doyle have named their team for this Saturday’s IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship opener against Munster at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
The Ulster management have named eight new caps in the matchday squad to take on Munster, the reigning Interpro champions. Among those are Hannah Beattie, Storm Cobain, Vicky Irwin and Leah McGoldrick, who are coming straight off the back of the successful Ulster Under-18 Interprovincial title-winning team.
Brigid Collins, Shauna Martin, Aishling O’Connell and Maeve Liston are the four other newcomers in the squad which is captained by Gemma McCutcheon from the back row.
Flanker McCutcheon told the Front Row Union website: “Being named captain is a fantastic opportunity, the team is definitely stronger this year and the players have been working exceptionally hard, both individually and as a team. The mix of longer and shorter training sessions has worked well and the longer session’s focus on the technical aspects has been especially useful.
“There is more depth this year, with several of this year’s Under-18 players moving up this season, which has significantly impacted the squad. The girls have bonded well with the rest of the team and having Jemma Jackson, a senior Ulster player, involved with both camps has certainly helped.
“With the Interprovincial series being later this year, it has given the team more time to become a unit instead of a group of individuals and we’re looking forward to the challenge from the other provinces, starting this Saturday with Munster.”
McCutcheon will be ably assisted by experienced former Ireland international Eliza Downey as vice-captain. Current Ireland squad member Claire McLaughlin, who started on the wing against New Zealand last Sunday, has been named to start in the centre, with Amy Davis, a member of Ireland’s 2013 Grand Slam-winning squad, donning the number 11 jersey.
Supporters can save 20% on Ulster Women’s tickets by purchasing online at www.ulsterrugby.com/buytickets. Tickets will also be available to purchase at the gate on Saturday from 2pm.
ULSTER WOMEN (v Munster): Maeve Liston; Peita McAlister, Eliza Downey, Claire McLaughlin, Amy Davis; Jemma Jackson, Kathryn Dane; Ilse van Staden, Lesley Megarity, Sorcha Mac Laimhin, Naomi McCullagh, Hannah Beattie, Storm Cobain, Gemma McCutcheon (capt), Lauren Maginnes.
Replacements: Brigid Collins, Shauna Martin, Beth Cregan, Aishling O’Connell, Vicky Irwin, Emma Jordan, Leah McGoldrick, Imogen Porter.
ULSTER WOMEN’S MANAGEMENT TEAM –
Co-Coaches: Jarrett Truscott & Philip Doyle
Interim Manager: Adrian Walker
S&C Coach: Paul Heasley
ULSTER WOMEN – INTERPRO FIXTURES:
Saturday, December 3: Ulster Women v Munster Women, Kingspan Stadium, 3pm
Saturday, December 10: Leinster Women v Ulster Women, Donnybrook, 6.30pm
Saturday, December 17: Connacht Women v Ulster Women, Galway Corinthians RFC, 2pm