The captains of Blackrock College and Railway Union spoke to media about their thoughts on Saturday’s crunch Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division final clash at Energia Park (kick-off 2pm).
Blackrock’s Michelle Claffey said that getting back to another decider – they lost 24-18 to Railway at this stage last season -was a major driving factor for their 2022/23 campaign.
“It was our number one priority to get back to an AIL final,” centre Claffey told Irish Rugby TV.
“With the group of players that we have and the performances we’ve put in over the year, I feel it’s where we belong and it hasn’t been one to fifteen, it’s been one to 40.
“At the start of the year we sat down and we said that’s where we want to be, that’s what we’ve built towards and that’s what we’ve achieved. Hopefully we’ll go one step further.”
South Dublin rivals Railway are the team standing in their way, and Claffey, who is the division’s joint-second top try scorer this season with nine tries, admitted: “We definitely hoped to see them again if we were going to be in the knockouts.
“They’re an excellent team, they’ve got an excellent group of players and they’re the double defending champions. We’re very well aware of what they can bring.”
Saturday’s game will be televised on TG4 for the second year running. It all adds to the sense of occasion, but Claffey’s focus lies elsewhere.
“It’s all business,” she insisted. “Remove the emotion from it and just be very aware that it’s cup rugby – it’s finals day and anything can happen. We’re very much prepared to put everything on the line and we’re very much looking forward to it.”