Leinster Women’s coaches Ken Knaggs and Adam Griggs have announced a training squad ahead of December’s eagerly-awaited IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship.
Defending champions Leinster have gone with a mix of established players and an injection of new blood. The senior stars include Jenny Murphy, Ciara Cooney, Paula Fitzpatrick, Cliodhna Moloney, Lindsay Peat and Sophie Spence who all played for Ireland in this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Ireland Sevens international Megan Williams is also among the backs contingent, while Railway Union’s Aimee Clarke, another U-18 Sevens graduate like flying winger Eimear Corri, is selected along with a number of players from Leinster League clubs, including Carla Claassen, a product of Navan’s youths section, and Suttonians’ Roisin O’Driscoll and Lauren Retig.
Ahead of selecting the final squad for the province’s title defence, the coaches said: “This year’s trials were the highest standard to date, which is a reflection of the fantastic work being done in the clubs around the province.”
Players representing 11 clubs from around Leinster make up the 32-player training panel. The final squad will be named prior to the start of the Championship campaign on December 2. The concluding rounds take place on December 9 and 16, with the matches and kick-off times to be confirmed.
LEINSTER WOMEN’S Squad – Backs (14): Emma Chamberlain (Garda/Westmanstown), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock), Aimee Clarke (Railway Union), Eimear Corri (Blackrock), Aine Donnelly (Old Belvedere), Niamh Griffin (Blackrock), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union), Maria Kenny (Old Belvedere), Meaghan Kenny (Railway Union), Ciara McDonnell (Garda/Westmanstown), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere), Elise O’Byrne White (Old Belvedere), Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock), Megan Williams (Old Belvedere), Maureen Young (IT Carlow/Carlow Coyotes).
Forwards (18): Carla Claassen (Navan), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union), Linda Dempsey (Rathdrum), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere), Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s), Christy Haney (St. Mary’s), Oonagh Hayes (Old Belvedere), Rachel Horan (CYM), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union), Caoimhe Molloy (Gorey), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union), Fiona O’Brien (Old Belvedere), Roisin O’Driscoll (Suttonians), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Lauren Retig (Suttonians), Juliet Short (Railway Union), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere).