The Ireland Women’s Under-20 squad (sponsored by PwC) has been named for this month’s landmark trip to Rome to play against Italy and Scotland in a series of training matches.
Following a screening camp at the IRFU High Performance Centre, head coach Neill Alcorn has selected a group of 26 players to travel to Italy as an Ireland Women’s Under-20 programme is launched for the first time.
There are three senior-capped internationals included in the U-20 squad, while a number of players who starred for the Combined Provinces side in the inaugural Celtic Challenge and for their provinces in last season’s Vodafone Interprovincial Championship have been selected.
Niamh O’Dowd, Emma Tilly and Leah Tarpey bring senior Ireland experience to the U-20 side, while the likes of Clara Barrett and Kate Flannery have previously impressed for the Ireland Under-18s in U-18 Six Nations Festival action.
The squad will come together for a week-long training camp at the IRFU High Performance Centre on Monday, July 16, before travelling to Rome on Friday, July 21.
Alcorn’s side 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 squad announcement, IRFU Women’s National Talent Squad and Talent Identification Manager, Katie Fitzhenry, said: “We’re delighted to name the first ever Ireland Women’s Under-20 squad ahead of the trip to Italy.
“We had 44 players at last month’s screening camp, and the coaching team of Neill, Larissa Muldoon and Matt Gill have selected an exciting mix of talented players from across the country, all of whom have impressed for their club, province, or at underage international level in a green jersey.
“It is a hugely exciting time for everyone involved and this is another important step for our Women’s Pathway, providing a platform for the further development of our best young players and exposing them to international rugby at an early stage in their career.”
IRELAND WOMEN’S UNDER-20 Squad (2023 Italy Tour):
Backs (12) –
Abby Moyles (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Cara Martin (Navan RFC/Leinster)
Clara Barrett (Ballina RFC/Connacht)
Ellen Boylan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Emma Tilly (MU Barnhall RFC/Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Eva Sterritt (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Kate Flannery (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Katie Whelan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Kayla Waldron (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
Laoise McGonagle (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
Leah Tarpey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Willow Bell (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
Forwards (14) –
Amy O’Mahony (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Caoimhe Guinan (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)
Hannah Wilson (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
India Daley (Cooke RFC/Ulster)
Ivana Kiripati (Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Jane Neill (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Karly Tierney (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht)
Maebh Clenaghan (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Megan Collis (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Ruth Campbell (MU Barnhall RFC/Leinster)
Sarah Delaney (Cill Dara RFC/Leinster)
Sarah Shrestha (Loughborough University/Ulster)
Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen RFC/Ulster)