The Munster Women’s team has been named for Saturday’s IRFU Women’s Interprovincial decider against Leinster at Donnybrook (kick-off 2.30pm).
Head coach Wayne Falvey has made three changes for the crucial clash with prop Fiona Reidy, flanker Ciara Griffin and out-half Claire Keohane coming into the side.
With two wins from their opening two games, Munster are in pole position to retain the title and lead by two points from Leinster who have six points, but Connacht are just a point behind them in third.
Munster won their opening game 16-3 away in Ulster before last week’s 12-8 victory over Connacht at Irish Independent Park. Flying wingers Eimear Considine and Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird ran in first half tries against the westerners with full-back Edel Murphy landing a conversion.
Elsewhere, Leinster recorded a 46-0 bonus point victory over Ulster at Donnybrook to set up a ‘winner takes all’ encounter with the defending champions in Dublin. Despite losing to Munster, Connacht earned a losing bonus point that gives them a slim chance of glory this Saturday.
Falvey is in his third season with the Munster Women’s side and is hoping to lead the team to three titles in a row this weekend.
“It’s in our own hands after that second win against Connacht,” he said. “Leinster will have gained a lot of confidence from their big win last week. Regarding our own performance against Connacht, it was a physical game and there was massive progression from the Ulster game.
“We’ve worked hard again this week to look at certain areas and fine-tune everything to ensure that we’re firing on all cylinders.”
MUNSTER WOMEN (v Leinster): Edel Murphy (UL Bohemians); Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird (UL Bohemians), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians), Nicola Scully (Highfield), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians); Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians), Ellen Murphy (Highfield); Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians), Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians), Leah Lyons (Highfield), Orlaith Buckley (Highfield), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee) (capt), Ciara Griffin (Tralee), Heather O’Brien (Highfield).
Replacements: Zoe Grattage (Highfield), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians), Nuala O’Connor (Tralee), Elaine Anthony (Highfield), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians), Mona Fehily (Highfield), Aine Staunton (UL Bohemians), Laura Sheehan (Highfield).
MUNSTER WOMEN – INTERPRO FIXTURES/RESULTS:
Saturday, December 3: Ulster Women 3 Munster Women 16, Kingspan Stadium
Saturday, December 10: Munster Women 12 Connacht Women 8, Irish Independent Park
Saturday, December 17: Leinster Women v Munster Women, Donnybrook, 2.30pm