The launch of an Ireland Women’s U20s programme is another significant and exciting development for the Women’s Pathway, with 44 players recently assembling at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin for a screening camp overseen by IRFU Women’s National Talent Squad and Talent Identification Manager, Katie Fitzhenry.
Players selected were identified for their performances from this season’s Energia All-Ireland League, Celtic Challenge, Vodafone Interprovincial Championship, as well as the 2022 U16 and U18 Sevens Interprovincial Championships and the U18 Women’s Six Nations Festival.
The Ireland Women’s U20s side will be coached by Neill Alcorn (Head Coach) and Matt Gill and Larissa Muldoon (Assistant Coaches), three of the recently appointed Women’s National Talent Squad (WNTS) Pathway staff.
A final squad of 26 will be selected next week, with the panel coming together for a week-long camp at the IRFU High Performance Centre on Monday, 16th July before travelling to Rome on Friday, 21st July.
Ireland Women’s U20s will train against Italy and Scotland at Stadio Tommaso Fattori in L’Aquila, before going head-to-head in two 40-minutes matches on Friday, 28th July, exposing the players to valuable training and match time against international opposition.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Fitzhenry said: “We’re delighted to be adding another important layer to our Women’s Pathway with an Ireland Women’s U20s squad coming together for the first time this summer. The National and Provincial Talent Coaches have been working hard to identify players from all levels of our Pathway structure in recent months and we had 44 players come together last weekend for a really positive screening camp.
“It is an exciting opportunity for us to further accelerate the development of our best young talent, with players not only being exposed to a High Performance environment and high-quality coaching, strength and conditioning, nutritional and medical support whilst in camp in Dublin, but then being given the chance to test those skills against their peers from Italy and Scotland.”
The Ireland Women’s U20s squad will be announced on Wednesday, 5th July.