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Murphy And Corri To Start For Leinster Women

Murphy And Corri To Start For Leinster Women

Leinster Women’s head coach Adam Griggs will use the leadership of Ireland centre Jenny Murphy and flanker Katie Norris to guide the province through the many pitfalls waiting for them against Connacht at Tuam RFC on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

Although they are not allowed to give starts to any of their Ireland players from last Sunday’s clash with New Zealand, Leinster will have a cavalry to summon from the bench, including Ireland out-half Nora Stapleton, lock Ciara Cooney and prop Lindsay Peat.

Of course, Adam Griggs would prefer not to dig too deep into his pocket of replacements. This will require complete application to the plan put in place to take Connacht out of their comfort zone and into the wide spaces where they will be forced to make difficult decisions in defence.

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When the Leinster Under-18 girls enjoyed home advantage against Connacht earlier in the season, Eimear Corri stood out for her five tries and a lot more than that. The Portlaoise teenager is now playing regular All-Ireland League rugby with Blackrock and she will feature for the province on the right wing tomorrow.

Griggs will trust the reins of game management to half-backs Michelle Claffey and Ailsa Hughes in behind a strong pack with Blackrock’s Carmella Morey at the base of the scrum.

The strategy to move the ball should put it into the hands of full-back Ali Coleman and wingers Corri and Navan’s Meaghan Kenny to do their thing. The weather can play its part and Leinster will have a ‘plan B’ to accommodate any inclement conditions that may force a change in focus from the wide to the narrow.

LEINSTER WOMEN (v Connacht): Ali Coleman (Blackrock); Eimear Corri (Blackrock), Niamh Byrne (Railway Union), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere), Meaghan Kenny (Navan); Michelle Claffey (Blackrock), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union); Manuela McCarthy (Blackrock), Jennie Finlay (Railway Union), Fiona O’Brien (Old Belvedere), Susan Fogarty (Railway Union), Mairead Holohan (Blackrock), Katie Norris (Blackrock), Dawn Smith (Blackrock), Carmela Morley (Blackrock) (capt).

Replacements: Ann-Marie Rooney (Blackrock), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Joanna Mahon (Blackrock), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union), Juliet Short (Railway Union), Niamh Griffin (Blackrock), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere), Shauna O’Brien (Edenderry).


Saturday, December 3: Connacht Women v Leinster Women, Tuam RFC, 2pm
Saturday, December 10: Leinster Women v Ulster Women, Donnybrook, 6.30pm
Saturday, December 17: Leinster Women v Munster Women, Donnybrook, 2.30pm