The Connacht U18 Girls have been training for the past four months ahead of the upcoming Interprovincial Championship, which begins later this month.

The team started training on May 20 as the squad came together for the first time at a camp in Ballinasloe. The following week, the team attended the gym at the Sportsground where the girls were introduced to their Strength & Conditioning Coach Jarleth Naughton, who is also the Head Coach of the senior Connacht Women’s team.

All the players were fitness tested and given a programme to follow over the summer. The players’ fitness has been re-tested once a month since with their programme altered every six weeks.

This year there has been a big emphasis placed on the fitness and athleticism of the team, with the hope that they will carry this forward and continue into the Connacht or Ireland team.

The training has been paying dividends with the players all making huge improvements to their fitness levels since the beginning of the season. Training sessions have focused on catch and pass, tackle technique, understanding the laws of the game, being able to read the game and improve decision making and game management.

The team have played two friendlies in recent weeks, against New Brunswick Babas from Canada and Tullamore RFC. These games offered a huge learning opportunity for both the individual players and the coaches alike. Connacht came away with comfortable victories in both games but also a deeper knowledge of the areas that need attention.

Training has taken place in a variety of clubs – Ballinrobe, Ballinasloe and the Sportsground, with a future camp planned for Westport.

The squad kick off their Interpro campaign with an away match against Ulster in Virginia RFC on Sunday, September 24.

The second game takes place on Saturday, September 30, against Munster in Ballinasloe RFC at 3pm. The campaign will be rounded off on October 7/8 with a clash against Leinster in Westmanstown RFC.

The team are eagerly awaiting the Interprovincial Championship and all support will be greatly appreciated.

The squad have been boosted by the international success of Meabh Deely and Aoibheann Reilly from Ballinasloe RFC and Grace Browne Moran from Westport RFC with Ireland at the weekend. See full details here.

Connacht U18 Girls squad: Mia Fahy (Galwegians/Glenamaddy Community School), Claudia McNicholas (Galwegians/Colaiste na Coiribe, Galway), Vanessa Finnan (Buccaneers/Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone), Jordan Hopkins (Galwegians/Calasanctius College Oranmore), Mary McLoughlin (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Claire Coghlan (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Eva McCormack (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Lily Brady (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Rian Callaghan (Buccaneers/Athlone Community College), Kayley Mannion (Galwegians/Glenamaddy Community School), Sarah Dent (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Grace Browne Moran (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Sarah O’Rourke (Buccaneers/Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone), Georgia Codyre (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Sarah Walsh (Westport/Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh), Shona Kennedy (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Rachel Cox (Westport/Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh), Chloe Staunton (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Muireann Cawley (Westport/Sacred Heart School, Westport), Eleanor McMahon (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Aine Galvin (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Aisling Murphy (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Aoibheann Reilly (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Meabh Deely (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe), Niamh Kenny (Ballinasloe/Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe).

Coaching Team

Head Coach and Backs Coach: Sinead Cosgrave

Forwards Coach: Dermot Tierney

S&C Coach: Jarlath Naughton

Team Manager: Paula Kelly

 

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