Connacht U18 Girls' Squad Announced

18 August 2023

Connacht U18 Girls' Squad Announced

The Connacht U18 Girls take on Munster in their first Interpro of the season this Saturday, 19th August at Musgrave Park. (12.45pm k/o)

The game will be the curtain raiser for the Munster v Connacht senior Interpro fixture which kicks off at 3:15 that day. 

As the eligibility age dropped a year for this summer, it is a young squad with a lot of new players ranging from 15 to 17 mixed in with some of last years Six Nations players such as Emily Foley, Grainne Moran and Ailish Quinn. With ten provincial clubs represented, this is a first for Ballinrobe RFC having only started their girls program just four years ago.

Team manager Natalie Fox says, "It is a big step up from U16 club to U18 Interprovincial level; but some of these girls are more than ready, they have had a taste of U18 rugby with their clubs so they appreciate the faster pace, higher skill level and physicality that is required going in to these games. We had a weekend training camp with Ulster in early July which brought some unity to the squad, in everyday life not all 15yr olds have many 17yr old friends. It is equally important that they know each other as people as well as they do players so this proved to be the foundation of our team. Having played two friendlies (Ulster and EIRA) the girls have grown to trust each other and work as a team".

Saturday is the first of three Interprovincial fixtures with Ulster at home on the 26th and Leinster at home on the 2nd Sept. This will seed the provinces for semi-finals and finals which will be held next February in the run-up to U18  Six Nations selection.

Saturday 19th August, 12:45 @ Musgrave Park

15. Jemma Lees (Galwegians RFC)
14. Emily Foley (Ballina RFC)
13. Ailbhe Gannon (Tuam/Oughterard RFC)
12. Sarah Purcell (Creggs RFC) Captain
11. Saoirse Lawley (Sligo RFC)
10. Siofra Hession (Creggs RFC)
9. Grainne Moran (Ballina RFC)
1. Amy Horan (Ballinrobe RFC)
2. Uillin Eilian (Tuam/Oughterard RFC)
3. Ella Burns (Tuam/Oughterard RFC)
4. Catherine Fleming (Ballinasloe RFC)
5. Jemima Adams Verling (Creggs RFC)
6. Lauren Hunter (Sligo RFC)
7. Ailish Quinn (Ballina RFC)
8. Róisín Power (Ballinasloe RFC)

16. Merisa Kiripati (Creggs RFC)
17. Louise Seoige (Tuam/Oughterard RFC)
18. Ciara Corrigan (Creggs RFC)
19. Chloe Conneely (Connemara RFC)
20. Ruby Comer (Corinthians RFC)
21. Aisling Whyte (Corinthians RFC)
22. Aoife Heaney (Claremorris RFC)
23. Meabh Flannery (Corinthians RFC)

Head Coach: Craig Hansberry
Backs Coach: Luke O'Donnell
Forwards Coach: Simon Lawless
Skills Coach: SImon O'Malley
Team Manager: Natalie Fox

The U18 Girls' Interpro fixtures are as follows:

Munster v Connacht - Saturday 19th Aug, Musgrave Park, Cork. 12.45pm K/O

Connacht v Ulster - Saturday 26th Aug, Corinthians RFC, Galway. 12pm K/O

Connacht v Leinster - Saturday 2nd Sept,Corinthians RFC, Galway 2pm K/O