Fixtures have been announced for the 2021 Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship.
The format returns to a round-robin format over three weekends for this year. First up, on August 28th, reigning champions Leinster travel to the Sportsground to face Connacht in a repeat of the 2019 Championship decider. Kingspan Stadium will host Ulster’s home game against Munster on the same day.
Munster’s home tie is against Connacht at Musgrave Park while Leinster return to Energia Park to face Ulster in Round 2 on September 4th.
The Championship trophy will be lifted for the first time since 2019 on Saturday September 11th’s final round with Connacht hosting Ulster and Leinster welcoming Munster to Donnybrook.
IRFU Women’s Development Manager Amanda Greensmith commented:
“Preparations are in full swing across the provinces and we’re really looking forward to seeing the return of what is a blue riband event for Irish Rugby.
“There’s a full cohort of players who missed on the chance to represent their province last year. It’s a priority for us to get players back onto the performance pathway and on the back of the #NothingLikeIt launch and some additional plans in the works, we’re on our way to ensuring an all-time high for visibility of this event.”
Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland commented:
‘Vodafone has been the proud sponsor of Irish Rugby since 2016 and our #TeamOfUs campaign is aimed at growing the game of rugby and promoting inclusion for all. With that in mind we are delighted this year to support the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship. Everyone In!’
Saturday August 28th 2021 (Kick Off Times TBC)
Connacht v Leinster, The Sportsground, 14:30
Ulster v Munster, Kingspan Stadium, 17:00
Saturday September 4th 2021(Kick Off Times TBC)
Munster v Connacht, Musgrave Park, 14:30
Leinster v Ulster, Energia Park, 16:00
Saturday September 11th 2021(Kick Off Times TBC)
Connacht v Ulster, The Sportsground, 14:30
Leinster v Munster, Energia Park, 19:00
There are new coaching setups for all four provinces in 2021.
Neill Alcorn has been appointed Head Coach in Ulster, with former Ulster scrum-half, Paul Marshall taking up the Backs Coach role. Paul Heasley will be the Athletic Development Lead for the squad, while Emily Millar has been appointed Team Manager.
Munster Rugby Senior Women’s Head Coach for the campaign is Old Crescent and Crescent College Comprehensive coach Matt Brown. Former Ireland captain and current UL Bohs Women’s Head Coach Niamh Briggs is the Backs Coach with ex-Munster prop Mike Storey assuming the position of Forwards Coach. Munster Rugby Women’s Development Officer Willie Shubart is the side’s Technical Coach with UL Bohs forward Sara Hartigan taking the position of Team Manager having previously held that role with the U18s.
In Leinster, Phil de Barra replaces outgoing head coach Ben Armstrong, and is joined for 2021 by forwards coach Tom McKeown, backs coach Stephen Maher and skills coach Ben Watson. Lorna Quinn and Marie Louise Reilly will look after team management.
Former Sligo RFC Head Coach Ross Mannion has been appointed Head Coach of the Connacht Rugby Senior Women’s Team, accompanied by Lyndon Jones as Backs Coach.
Connacht Senior Women
Head Coach: Ross Mannion
Backs Coach: Lyndon Jones
Team Manager: Mark Moran
Leinster Senior Women
Head Coach: Phil De Barra
Assistant Coach: Tom McKeown
Team Manager: Lorna Quinn Manager
Assistant Team Manager: Marie Louise Reilly
Munster Senior Women
Head Coach: Matt Brown
Forwards Coach: Mike Storey
Backs Coach: Niamh Briggs
Technical Coach: Willie Shubart
Team Manager: Sara Hartigan
Ulster Senior Women:
Head Coach: Neill Alcorn
Backs Coach: Paul Marshall
Team Manager: Emily Millar
Athletic Development Lead: Paul Heasley