The IRFU is delighted to announce that a 26-player Ireland Women’s Under-20 squad (sponsored by PwC) will next month travel to Italy to play the host nation and Scotland in a series of training matches.
The launch of an Ireland Women’s Under-20s programme is another significant and exciting development for the Women’s Pathway.
44 players recently assembled at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin for a screening camp overseen by IRFU Women’s National Talent Squad and Talent Identification Manager, Katie Fitzhenry.
Players selected were identified for their performances from this season’s Energia All-Ireland League, the Celtic Challenge, and the Vodafone Interprovincial Championship, as well as the 2022 Under-16 and Under-18 Sevens Interprovincial Championships and the Under-18 Women’s Six Nations Festival.
The Ireland Women’s Under-20 team will be overseen by head coach Neill Alcorn and assistant coaches Matt Gill and Larissa Muldoon, three of the recently appointed Women’s National Talent Squad (WNTS) Pathway staff.
A final squad of 26 will be selected next week, with the panel coming together for a week-long camp at the IRFU High Performance Centre on Monday, July 16, before travelling to Rome on Friday, July 21.
The Ireland Women’s Under-20s will train against Italy and Scotland at the Stadio Tommaso Fattori in L’Aquila, before going head-to-head in two 40-minute matches on Friday, July 28, exposing the players to valuable training and match time against international opposition.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Fitzhenry said: “We’re delighted to be adding another important layer to our Women’s Pathway with an Ireland Women’s Under-20 squad coming together for the first time this summer.
“The National and Provincial Talent coaches have been working hard to identify players from all levels of our Pathway structure in recent months, and we had 44 players come together last weekend for a really positive screening camp.
It is an exciting opportunity for us to further accelerate the development of our best young talent, with players not only being exposed to a high performance environment and high-quality coaching, strength and conditioning, nutritional and medical support whilst in camp in Dublin, but then being given the chance to test those skills against their peers from Italy and Scotland.”
Feargal O’Rourke, PwC Ireland Managing Partner, commented: “At PwC we fully support the addition and development of the Ireland Women’s Under-20 team. Nurturing and recognising excellence in talent is paramount to the future success of all of our communities.
“Sponsoring the team strengthens our support of Irish sport and, in particular, reinforces our commitment to increasing the profile and participation of women in sport. We wish the team every success in the upcoming tour to Italy. #FutureIsGreen.”
The Ireland Women’s Under-20 squad will be announced on Wednesday, July 5.