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Flanker Fleming To Captain Munster Women Against Ulster

Flanker Fleming To Captain Munster Women Against Ulster

Tralee RFC’s Siobhan Fleming will lead the Munster Women’s team in their IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship opener away to Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Munster Women’s head coach Wayne Falvey has included 11 players from UL Bohemians, the current Women’s All-Ireland League leaders, in the matchday 23. Nine Highfield players have also made the cut along with two from Tralee and one from Shannon.

Full-back Aine Staunton will make her first start from full-back as winger Eimear Considine, who has played with the Ireland Women’s Sevens team, makes her Munster debut.

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The province’s starting line-up is full of experienced internationals with seven of the eight forwards full Ireland internationals. Outside centre Niamh Kavanagh is another of the international contingent and the UL Bohemians star touched down for Ireland in the final moments of last Sunday’s defeat to New Zealand.

There is a mixture of youth and experience on the replacements bench with Ireland internationals Zoe Grattage and Fiona Hayes among the front row substitutes. Nuala O’Connor, Sara Hartigan, Christine Arthurs and Laura Sheehan are all primed to make their Munster debuts off the bench. Highfield’s Arthurs previously lined out for Connacht. 

Falvey is in his third season at the helm of the Munster Women’s squad and has led the side to two Interprovincial titles. The defending champions’ sole focus this weekend is on opening the campaign with a positive performance.

“With a lot of new faces in the squad this year, our focus is on Ulster in the first game and making sure we’re set for that,” said Falvey. “There will be new faces in the squad travelling up so we need to make sure we get that performance so we can kick on then.”

MUNSTER WOMEN (v Ulster): Aine Staunton (UL Bohemians); Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird (UL Bohemians), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians), Nicola Scully (Highfield), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians); Valerie Power (Shannon), Ellen Murphy (Highfield); Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians), Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians), Leah Lyons (Highfield), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians), Orlaith Buckley (Highfield), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee) (capt), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians), Heather O’Brien (Highfield).

Replacements: Zoe Grattage (Highfield), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians), Nuala O’Connor (Tralee), Sara Hartigan (UL Bohemians), Christine Arthurs (Highfield), Mona Fehily (Highfield), Edel Murphy (UL Bohemians), Laura Sheehan (Highfield).


Saturday, December 3: Ulster Women v Munster Women, Kingspan Stadium, 3pm
Saturday, December 10: Munster Women v Connacht Women, Irish Independent Park, 2.30pm
Saturday, December 17: Leinster Women v Munster Women, Donnybrook, 2.30pm