The Leinster Women’s squad has been confirmed for the 2017/18 IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship. A total of 34 players have been selected in the squad from 11 clubs from across the province.
Paula Fitzpatrick has been confirmed as the new Leinster Women’s captain, succeeding Carmela Morey who led the girls in blue to the Interprovincial title last season with a win over Munster at Donnybrook last December.
Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie about her selection as captain, Fitzpatrick said: “It’s a huge honour. I’m very humbled, very privileged to be doing it. There’s a great squad there, really talented players and great leaders in the squad as well.”
Sene Naoupu, who plays with both the Ireland Women’s XVs and Sevens teams, is also named in the squad. Naoupu currently plays her club rugby with Old Belvedere, having previously represented Galwegians and Connacht, and is poised to make her Leinster debut next month.
Adam Griggs, who was recently confirmed as the new Ireland Women’s head coach, will lead the Leinster Women through the new campaign. He took charge of Leinster for the first time last year, securing the Interprovincial trophy in his first campaign.
Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Griggs said: “We’re looking really good. We’ve got a really good squad of girls that have come back from last year and we’ve got a couple of younger ones as well that have come up through the youths system with the Leinster Under-18 Girls. It’s good to see them get a chance as well.”
Leinster will begin the defence of the Women’s Interprovincial crown away to Ulster at Dromore RFC on Sunday, December 3 (kick-off 2pm). Griggs’ charges host Connacht in round at Donnybrook on Saturday, December 9 (kick-off 5pm), before travelling to Thomond Park to face arch rivals Munster in the final round on Saturday, December 16 (kick-off 2.30pm).
LEINSTER WOMEN’S Squad – Backs (16): Nicole Carroll (Suttonians), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock), Aimee Clarke (Railway Union), Eimear Corri (Blackrock), Aine Donnelly (Old Belvedere), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union) (vice-capt), Maria Kenny (Old Belvedere), Meaghan Kenny (Railway Union), Ciara McDonnell (Garda/Westmanstown), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere), Elise O’Byrne White (Old Belvedere), Meg Parkinson (Wicklow), Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Garda/Westmanstown), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere), Megan Williams (Old Belvedere).
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) (capt), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s), Christy Haney (St. Mary’s), Oonagh Hayes (Old Belvedere), Rachel Horan (CYM), Caoimhe Molloy (Gorey), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union), Fiona O’Brien (Old Belvedere), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Ann-Marie Rooney (Blackrock), Juliet Short (Railway Union), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere).