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Clovers And Wolfhounds Squads Announced For Celtic Challenge

India Daley, Dannah O’Brien, Maeve Óg O’Leary and Meabh Deely 15/12/2023

Pictured at the launch of the Celtic Challenge match kits are India Daley and Dannah O'Brien from the Wolfhounds (Leinster and Ulster), and Maeve Óg O'Leary and Méabh Deely representing the Clovers (Connacht and Munster) ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

The Clovers and Wolfhounds squads have been unveiled for the upcoming Celtic Challenge tournament. Both teams will have a chance to impress in their first round clash at Musgrave Park on Friday week (December 29).

The four provinces will split into two combined Irish teams competing in this year’s competition, namely the Clovers (Connacht and Munster), and the Wolfhounds (Leinster and Ulster).

In order to provide quality game-time and positional cover, there will also be some crossover with the provincial players.

Included in the squads are a mix of Ireland internationals and players from the Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Division.

The coaching teams for this season’s Celtic Challenge teams were recently announced, as this year the tournament is expanded to include two teams from each Union with a total of six teams competing across the Celtic nations.

Gillian McDarby, the IRFU Head of Women’s Performance and Pathways, commented: “The Celtic Challenge is an integral tournament for the development of Women’s rugby players in Ireland and will play a significant role in the player pathway moving forward.

Players named within the Clovers and Wolfhounds squads have come through our rugby pathways. The Celtic Challenge provides players with the opportunity to be exposed to a high-performance training environment supported by our national coaches and management yeams.

“The competition structure will support their development and ensure that players are in the best position to compete in the Women’s Six Nations.”

This season’s tournament will span an 11-week period and will culminate on Sunday, March 3, 2024, with all Irish home games played across three venues – Musgrave Park, Energia Park, and Kingspan Stadium.

The competition will adopt a new format which will be made up of five rounds. Round 1 will see a derby day clash for the home Unions with their respective sides facing off for the first time.

The play-offs will be made up of three rounds, with each round being hosted by a home Union as a double-header event.

The fixtures, which will be determined by the regular round standings, will be the culmination of the competition’s most competitive encounters as teams go head-to-head to be crowned this season’s winners.

Tickets for all home games can be purchased through the provincial websites and Ticketmaster.ie.

Maeve Óg O’Leary, India Daley, Meabh Deely and Dannah O’Brien 15/12/2023



BACKS (14) –

Clara Barrett (UL Bohemian RFC/Connacht)
Ellen Boylan (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Aoife Corey (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster)
Kate Flannery (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Clare Gorman (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Laoise McGonagle (UL Bohemian RFC/Connacht)
Alana McInerney (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Michelle O’Driscoll (Ballincollig RFC/Munster)
Chisom Ugwueru (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Kayla Waldron (Railway Union RFC/Connacht)


Lily Brady (UL Bohemian RFC/Connacht)
Claire Bennett (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Beth Buttimer (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Eilís Cahill (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Ruth Campbell (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Jane Clohessy (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Brianna Heylmann (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Eva McCormack (UL Bohemian RFC/Connacht)
Sadhbh McGrath (Cooke RFC/Ulster)
Jane Neill (Galwegians RFC/Leinster)
Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Róisín Ormond (Ballincollig RFC/Munster)
Faith Oviawe (Railway Union RFC/Connacht)
Shannon Touhey (Tullamore RFC/Connacht)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)


Head Coach – Denis Fogarty
Assistant Coach – Niamh Briggs
Development Coach – Deirbhile Nic a Bháird
Physio – Ciaran Purcell
S&C Coach – Lorna Barry
Team Manager – Natalie Fox


BACKS (14) –

Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Nikki Caughey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Aimee Clarke (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Katie Corrigan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Ella Durkan (Blackrock College RFC/Ulster)
Jade Gaffney (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Niamh Marley (Dungannon RFC/Cooke RFC/Ulster)
Erin McConnell (Wicklow RFC/Leinster)
Kelly McCormill (Cooke RFC/Ulster)
Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Ava Ryder (Railway Union RFC/Connacht)
Leah Tarpey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Katie Whelan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)


Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen RFC/Railway Union RFC/Ulster)
Molly Boyne (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Keelin Brady (Railway Union RFC/Ulster)
Maebh Clenaghan (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
Megan Collis (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Eimear Corri (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
India Daley (Blackrock College RFC/Ulster)
Sarah Delaney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
Aoife Moore (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Éadaoin Murtagh (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)


Head Coach – Neil Alcorn
Assistant Coach – Michelle Claffey
Development Coach – Judy Bobbett
S&C Coach – Greg Hollins
Physio – Naomi Hamilton
Team Manager – Marianne Breen

Fixtures & Tickets –

Wolfhounds v Clovers
Friday, December 29, Musgrave Park, 4pm
(Purchase Tickets Here)

Edinburgh Rugby v Wolfhounds        
Saturday, January 6, Hive Stadium, 2pm

Clovers v West Wales
Saturday, January 6, Energia Park, 2.30pm
(Purchase Tickets Here)

Glasgow Warriors v Wolfhounds      
Saturday, January 13, Scotstoun Stadium, 2pm

Clovers v East Wales
Sunday, January 14, Musgrave Park, 1pm
(Purchase Tickets Here)

Wolfhounds v West Wales
Saturday, January 27, Kingspan Stadium, 7.30pm

Glasgow Warriors v Clovers  
Saturday, January 27, Scotstoun Stadium, 2pm

Wolfhounds v East Wales
Saturday, February 3, Energia Park, 2.30pm
(Purchase Tickets Here)

Edinburgh Rugby v Clovers
Saturday, February 3, Hive Stadium, 12.30pm

Play-Off Rounds:

Saturday, February 17, Scotstoun Stadium
Saturday, February 24, Kingspan Stadium
Sunday, March 3, Parc y Scarlets