The IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship and the Under-18 Series kick-off this weekend with the new feature this season of a number of double headers, including senior and U-18 matches at Irish Independent Park and the Sportsground.
Defending Women’s Interprovincial champions Munster kick off their title defence on Saturday afternoon against Jarleth Naughton’s Connacht side at Irish Independent Park in Cork. The curtain raiser for that match is the Munster Under-18s, first-time winners last year, against Leinster Under-18s.
The Leinster Women’s team, led by newly-appointed captain Sene Naoupu, get their campaign underway on Friday night at home to Ulster at Stradbrook. Naoupu said: “We’re very excited to get into the series. We’ve been building up over the last sox weeks and we’re really looking forward to getting into it this Friday in Blackrock.”
In round 2, the Sportsground will host a double header with Connacht Under-18s against Munster Under-18s as a curtain raiser to Connacht Women v Leinster Women. The Ulster double header is at Portadown RFC with the U-18s in action against Leinster and Ulster Women up against Munster.
The final round of games on Saturday, September 15 sees Connacht at home to Ulster at the Sportsground, while Leinster will host Munster at Energia Park in Donnybrook. The four U-18 provincial sides will travel to MU Barnhall for a double header to decide their series.
Speaking about the first game, Munster captain Fiona Hayes said: “Every year I think every team is the team to beat. Connacht first up is going to be a massive challenge. They caught us last year, but we have them in Irish Independent Park this year. We have the cup and we want to keep it.”
2018/19 IRFU WOMEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP & UNDER-18 SERIES:
ROUND 1 –
LEINSTER WOMEN v ULSTER WOMEN, Stradbrook, Blackrock College, RFC, Friday, August 31, 7pm
MUNSTER U-18 WOMEN v LEINSTER U-18 WOMEN, Irish Independent Park, Saturday, September 1, 12.30pm
MUNSTER WOMEN v CONNACHT WOMEN, Irish Independent Park, Saturday, September 1, 2.30pm
CONNACHT U-18 WOMEN v ULSTER U-18 WOMEN, Graigueawoneen, Ballinasloe RFC, Sunday, September 2, 2pm
ROUND 2 –
CONNACHT U-18 WOMEN v MUNSTER U-18 WOMEN, the Sportsground, Sunday, September 9, 1pm
CONNACHT WOMEN v LEINSTER WOMEN, the Sportsground, Sunday, September 9, 3pm
ULSTER WOMEN v MUNSTER WOMEN, Chambers Park, Portadown RFC, Sunday, September 9, 1pm
ULSTER U-18 WOMEN v LEINSTER U-18 WOMEN, Chambers Park, Portadown RFC, Sunday, September 9, 12.30pm
ROUND 3 –
CONNACHT WOMEN v ULSTER WOMEN, the Sportsground, Saturday, September 15, 2.30pm
LEINSTER WOMEN v MUNSTER WOMEN, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Saturday, September 15, 7.30pm
LEINSTER U-18 WOMEN v CONNACHT U-18 WOMEN, Parsonstown, MU Barnhall RFC, Saturday, September 15, 1pm
MUNSTER U-18 WOMEN v ULSTER U-18 WOMEN, Parsonstown, MU Barnhall RFC, Saturday, September 15, 2.45pm