The Ireland Under-18 Women’s squad will participate in three two-day camps in March and April, in preparation for the inaugural Under-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival in Edinburgh.
Under the direction of IRFU’s Women’s performance pathway coach, Katie Fitzhenry, the squad will assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre on the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin on March 19-20 and 26-27, and on April 2-3, before travelling to Edinburgh for their first game of the festival on Saturday, April 9.
The festival format will see the Ireland team play 35-minute matches against England and France on Game Day 1 and a 70-minute match against Wales on Game Day 2.
The festival will take place at the DAM Health Stadium, the home of Edinburgh Rugby, between April 9 and 17.
Fitzhenry, the former Ireland 15s and Sevens international, commented: “A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes by the Unions to make this tournament a reality and it will add huge value to the development of our young players by introducing them to international competition and the rigours of high performance sport.
A good cohort of the players who will be involved in the Ireland U-18 Women’s squad were flagged by the IRFU’s Talent ID coaches at last year’s Under-18 Interprovincial competition.
Eligible players from the Women’s National Talent Squad (WNTS) will also be involved as well as talent identified by the provinces and through the club network.
Similar to the Men’s Under-18 Festival, the format aims to create a positive learning experience for the players and coaches.
There will be plenty of interaction between each Union’s coaching groups and feedback to the players as they progress through the Festival.”
The Under-18 Men’s Six Nations Festival will make its return after a two-year hiatus and commence on Saturday, April 9 at the French Federation National Centre in Marcoussis.
The Ireland U-18 Men’s side will play three 70-minute games across the festival against France, Italy and Wales respectively. They will participate in preparation camps in March and April before travelling to France.