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Clovers And Wolfhounds Teams Confirmed For Second Round Clashes

Clovers And Wolfhounds Teams Confirmed For Second Round Clashes

Wolfhounds centre Leah Tarpey launches a kick chase, against the Clovers' Shannon Touhey, at Musgrave Park last Friday ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Wolfhounds head coach Neill Alcorn and his Clovers counterpart, Denis Fogarty, have finalised their teams for Saturday’s second round of the expanded Celtic Challenge tournament.

Both Irish sides made an impressive start in the home derby last weekend, with the Wolfhounds winning 21-15 at Musgrave Park thanks to final quarter tries from Linda Djougang, Sarah Delaney and Eimear Corri.

Fresh from their first round victory, the Wolfhounds will travel to take on table toppers Edinburgh, who were 28-12 bonus point winners over Glasgow Warriors, at the Hive Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2pm – live on RugbyPass TV).

With Alcorn making five changes to the starting XV, Corri comes into the second row, Katie Whelan gets the nod at scrum half, and in a rejigged back-three, Ella Durkan starts at full-back with Natasja Behan moving to the left wing and Aimee Clarke switching to the right.

Leinster prop Aoife Moore has been added to the replacements bench, which also includes Armagh native Niamh Marley, the player to lose out in that altered back-three.

Speaking ahead of the game, Alcorn said: “We were delighted with the win in Cork last weekend, but more importantly with the squad performance.

“We had some work-ons this week at training, and we are looking forward to another run-out this Saturday, against a strong Scottish side.”

Meanwhile, at Energia Park, Fogarty’s Clovers selection will play Wales’ Brython Thunder at home (kick-off 2.30pm – live on RugbyPass TV).

Faith Oviawe switches to the second row where she partners Ruth Campbell, who impressed in the lineout last week. 20-year-old Connacht talent Ivana Kiripati takes Oviawe’s place at openside flanker.

Dorothy Wall will have an impact role off the bench, so her Ireland team-mate, teenage prop Sadhbh McGrath, will step up as captain. The other personnel change in the starting XV sees the experienced Ailsa Hughes pair up with Méabh Deely at half-back.

Galwegians’ Jane Neill and Abbie Salter-Townshend, a regular starter for Energia All-Ireland League leaders UL Bohemians, are poised to make their Celtic Challenge debuts this weekend as replacements.

Looking forward to facing Brython Thunder, who lost last week’s Welsh derby, 20-5, to Gwalia Lightning, Fogarty said: “Whilst it was disappointing to lose 21-15 last weekend, it was great to get the team performance we did.

“We have had another competitive training week this week, and it is another opportunity to see a couple of new faces take to the pitch.

“We want to keep raising our performance standards and enjoy our rugby and do our family and friends proud, and it was great to see so many people in support in Musgrave last weekend. We hope to see the same if not more support this Saturday in Energia Park.”

Show your support for the Clovers at Energia Park, tickets for the game can be purchased here.

WOLFHOUNDS Team & Replacements (v Edinburgh Rugby, Celtic Challenge Round 2, Hive Stadium, Saturday, January 6, kick-off 2pm):

15. Ella Durkan (Blackrock College RFC/Ulster)
14. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
13. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
12. Leah Tarpey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
11. Aimee Clarke (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
9. Katie Whelan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
2. Sarah Delaney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
3. Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen RFC/Railway Union RFC/Ulster)
4. Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
5. Eimear Corri (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
6. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (capt)
7. Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
8. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)


16. Maebh Clenaghan (Queen’s University Belfast RFC/Ulster)
17. Aoife Moore (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
18. Hannah Wilson (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
19. Keelin Brady (Railway Union RFC/Ulster)
20. Éadaoin Murtagh (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
21. Erin McConnell (Wicklow RFC/Leinster)
22. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
23. Niamh Marley (Dungannon RFC/Cooke RFC/Ulster)

CLOVERS Team & Replacements (v Brython Thunder, Celtic Challenge Round 2, Energia Park, Saturday, January 6, kick-off 2.30pm):

15. Aoife Corey (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
14. Alana McInerney (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
13. Michelle O’Driscoll (Ballincollig RFC/Munster)
12. Kayla Waldron (Railway Union RFC/Connacht)
11. Clare Gorman (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
10. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
1. Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
2. Beth Buttimer (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
3. Sadhbh McGrath (Cooke RFC/Ulster) (capt)
4. Ruth Campbell (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
5. Faith Oviawe (Railway Union RFC/Connacht)
6. Brianna Heylmann (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
7. Ivana Kiripati (Tuam/Oughterard Colts RFC/Connacht)
8. Shannon Touhey (Tullamore RFC/Connacht)


16. Lily Brady (UL Bohemian RFC/Connacht)
17. Róisín Ormond (Ballincollig RFC/Munster)
18. Eilís Cahill (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
19. Claire Bennett (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
20. Jane Neill (Galwegians RFC/Leinster)
21. Abbie Salter-Townshend (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
22. Kate Flannery (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
23. Clara Barrett (UL Bohemian RFC/Connacht)

Celtic Challenge Table – After Round 1:

Fixtures and Tickets –

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

Clovers v Brython Thunder
Saturday, January 6, Energia Park, 2.30pm
(Purchase Tickets Here)

Glasgow Warriors v Wolfhounds       
Saturday, January 13, Scotstoun Stadium, 2.30pm

Clovers v Gwalia Lightning
Sunday, January 14, Musgrave Park, 1pm
(Purchase Tickets Here)

Wolfhounds v Brython Thunder
Saturday, January 27, Kingspan Stadium, 7.30pm

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

Wolfhounds v Gwalia Lightning
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