Ireland’s Gillian Bourke and Paula Fitzpatrick are set to line out for the Barbarians Women, who are putting together a squad for their first ever international match against the USA Women’s Eagles in Colorado next month.
The former Six Nations title-winning forwards, who played a combined 91 times for Ireland, are among a 19-strong group announced today. The Barbarians have called up women from nine different nations, including New Zealand Women’s Rugby World Cup winners Fiao’o Fa’amausili, Steph Te Ohaere-Fox, Linda Itunu and Emma Jensen.
The Barbarians Women’s side take on the USA for the first time at Infinity Park in Glendale on Friday, April 26 (kick-off 5pm local time) with the match streamed live by FloRugby.com. Baa Baas head coach Anna Richards will add more players to the squad following the play-off stages of the Tyrrells Premier 15s competition in England.
The 129 year-old Barbarians club launched their Women’s team in 2017/18 with wins against Munster (19-0) and the British Army (37-0). They will take on England for the first time as part of a double-header at Twickenham on Sunday, June 2.
Ireland’s Jackie Shiels, Fiona Coghlan, Marie Louise Reilly, Ailis Egan, Edel McMahon, Tania Rosser and Nora Stapleton all played in the Barbarians’ debut game against Munster at Thomond Park, while hooker Bourke, Reilly, Stapleton and Sophie Spence donned the famous back-and-white hooped jersey against the Army outfit.
BARBARIANS WOMEN’S Squad (v USA Women’s Eagles) – Backs (8): Andrea Burke (Capilanos/Canada), Julia Folk (Castaway Wanderers/Canada), Emma Jensen (Hastings/New Zealand), Jasmine Joyce (Worcester Valkyries/Wales), Helen Nelson (Montpellier/Scotland), Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Bears/Wales), Hannah Stolba (Glendale/USA), Amanda Thornborough (Westshore/Canada).
Forwards (11): Gillian Bourke (Stade Francais/Ireland), Amelia Buckland-Hurry (Bristol Bears), Alisha Butchers (Worcester Valkyries/Wales), Dalena Dennison (Warringah/Australia) Fiao’o Fa’amausili (Auckland Marist/New Zealand), Carmen Farmer (Glendale/USA), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Ireland), Samantha Martinez Gion (Amsterdam/Netherlands), Linda Itunu (Ponsonby/New Zealand), Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks/England), Steph Te Ohaere-Fox (Christchurch/New Zealand).