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Combined Provinces Team Named To Face The Thistles

Combined Provinces Team Named To Face The Thistles

Head Coach Greg McWilliams has named the Combined Provinces XV Match Day Squad, sponsored by Vodafone, for the second game of the Celtic Challenge.

Following their one-point win over the WRU Development XV in Cardiff last weekend, the Combined Provinces welcome The Thistles to Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening (Kick-off 4.30pm, live on Irish Rugby YouTube channel).

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Hannah O’Connor once again captains the side, with Dannah O’Brien named co-captain for the visit of the Scottish side to Belfast.

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McWilliams has rotated his resources for Round 2 of the tournament, with the starting XV showing six changes from last weekend. The inaugural Celtic Challenge competition is providing the National Coaching Team with an extended window to expose young players to cross-border competition, as preparations continue for the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

Ireland internationals Leah Tarpey, Molly Scuffil McCabe and Linda Djougang are among those who come into the team for Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the game, out-half O’Brien said: “It was brilliant to kickstart the campaign with a win last weekend but we were straight back to work at the IRFU High Performance Centre this week knowing we have to improve across a number of areas.

“There was plenty of good work done in Cardiff but as we spend more time together as a squad and work on our learnings, we will continue to grow and that will help improve our performances as we progress through the tournament.

“We’re excited to play our first home match in Belfast this weekend and for supporters unable to attend, it’s great to have the match live streamed on the Irish Rugby YouTube channel.”

Combined Provinces XV (v The Thistles, Kingspan Stadium, Saturday, February 4th, 4.30pm)

15. Ella Durkan (Ulster/Blackrock College RFC)
14. Clara Barrett (Connacht/UL Bohemians RFC)
13. Leah Tarpey (Leinster/Railway Union RFC)
12. Aoife Dalton (Leinster/Old Belvedere RFC)
11. Ella Roberts (Leinster/Wicklow RFC)
10. Dannah O’Brien (Leinster/Old Belvedere RFC)
9. Molly Scuffil McCabe (Leinster/Railway Union)

1. Niamh O’Dowd (Leinster/Old Belvedere RFC)
2. Emma Hooban (Leinster/Blackrock College RFC)
3. Linda Djougang (Leinster/Old Belvedere RFC)
4. Claire Bennett (Munster/UL Bohemians RFC)
5. Fiona Tuite (Ulster/Old Belvedere RFC)
6. Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Munster/Old Belvedere RFC)
7. Maeve Og O’Leary (Munster/Blackrock College RFC)
8. Hannah O’Connor (Leinster/Blackrock College RFC) (captain)


16. Jess Keating (Leinster/Old Belvedere RFC)
17. Mary Healy (Leinster/Naas RFC/Suttonians RFC)
18. Megan Collis (Leinster/Railway Union RFC)
19. Eimear Corri (Leinster/Blackrock College RFC)
20. Sophie Barrett (Ulster/Enniskillen RFC)
21. Katie Whelan (Leinster/Old Belvedere RFC)
22. Kayla Waldron (Connacht/Galwegians RFC)
23. Maeve Liston (Ulster/Blackrock College RFC).