Munster snapping at Leinster heels

The IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship goes down to the wire this afternoon when Munster host champions Leinster in a top of the table clash at Thomond Park (2.30pm).

Munster snapping at Leinster heels

Leinster, coached by new national head coach Adam Griggs have nine points, while Munster (on six) can still snatch the title and end international Laura Guest’s first season as the province’s coach with silverware.

Leinster are in the box seat with a +10 advantage in terms of scoring difference but the Munster women, who were impressive 32-5 winners over Ulster last weekend, will fancy their chances.

Spirits are high in Guest’s squad after a Christmas-themed final night of training.

UL’s Anna Caplice comes into the starting line-up at number 8 after impressing off the bench in the first two rounds, while Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, who enjoyed an eye-catching World Sevens Series debut with Ireland in Dubai, is also hoping to make a big impact as a replacement.

Two-in-a-row title hunters Leinster will bank on big displays from players such as Michelle Claffey, Lindsay Peat, Sene Naoupu, who has gelled well with Ailsa Hughes at half-back, and teenage winger Aimee Clarke, who is the Championship’s top scorer with four tries.

Suttonians’ Nicole Carroll, who made her debut off the bench in the 17-8 home win over Connacht, comes in at full-back in the only change in personnel. Susan Vaughan moves to the left wing in place of the unavailable Megan Williams, with Clarke looking to add to her try tally on the right flank.

A late change before the Connacht game saw Sophie Spence withdraw from the team, with Ciara Cooney moving to blindside flanker and Railway Union captain Meg Kendal added to the pack.

The pack reverts to the one that was originally selected for the Connacht match with St. Mary’s star Paula Fitzpatrick leading the Blues from the back row.

Meanwhile Connacht and Ulster battle it out at Belfast Harlequins RFC (today, 3pm).

MUNSTER: L O’Mahony (UL Bohemians); L Sheehan (UL Bohemians), A Staunton (UL Bohemians), N Kavanagh (UL Bohemians), S Pua (UL Bohemians); R Allen (UL Bohemians), E Murphy (Old Belvedere); F Hayes (UL Bohemians), G Bourke (UL Bohemians), F Reidy (UL Bohemians), S McCarthy (Railway Union), C Pearse (UL Bohemians), C Griffin (UL Bohemians), S Fleming (Tralee) (capt), A Caplice (UL Bohemians).

Replacements: L Lyons (Highfield), M Collins (Tralee), Z Grattage (Highfield), R Ormond (Ballincollig), E Murphy (UL Bohemians), C Arthurs (Highfield), V Power (Shannon), D Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemians).

LEINSTER: N Carroll (Suttonians); A Clarke (Railway Union), A Donnelly (Old Belvedere), M Claffey (Blackrock), S Vaughan (Railway Union); S Naoupu (Old Belvedere), A Hughes (Railway Union); L Peat (Railway Union), C Moloney (Railway Union), F O’Brien (Old Belvedere), A McDermott (Railway Union), O Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s), S Spence (Old Belvedere), C Cooney (Railway Union), P Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s) (capt).

Replacements: J Finlay (Old Belvedere), C Molloy (Gorey), C Haney (St. Mary’s), R Horan (CYM), M Kendal (Railway Union), M Parkinson (Wicklow), M Kenny (Railway Union), M Kenny (Old Belvedere).

ULSTER: L Muldoon (Railway Union) (capt); L McGoldrick (Cooke), B Hogan (Cooke), P McAlister (Malone), A Graham (Cooke); N Caughey (Railway Union), K Dane (Old Belvedere); I van Staden (Cooke), N Jones (Malone), A O’Connell (Co. Cavan), H Beattie (Cooke), A Maginn (Ballynahinch), B Cregan (Cooke), L Megarity (Cooke), L Maginnes (Cooke).

Replacements: G McCutcheon (Cooke), S Mac Laimhin (Cooke), Helen McGhee (Cooke), Rebecca Smyth (Cooke), S Cobain (Ballynahinch), E Jordan (Cooke), C Johnston (Cooke), E Downey (Cooke).

CONNACHT: MCoyne (Galwegians); O Dixon (NUI Galway), S Touhey (Tullamore), J O’Neill (Old Belvedere), A Miller (Old Belvedere); H Griffin (Tullamore), M Healy (Galwegians); L Feely (Galwegians), C O’Connor (Galwegians), AM O’Hora (Castlebar), A Roux (Galwegians), N Caldbeck (Tullow), E McMahon (Galwegians), G Egan (Railway Union) (capt), N Fryday (Tullamore).

Replacements: E Dillane (NUI Galway), K O’Dwyer (Railway Union), D Redmond (Galwegians), K Douglas (NUI Galway), S Egan (Galwegians/Buccaneers), S Lane (NUI Galway), N Ni Dhroma (Old Belvedere), C Dunne (Old Belvedere).

More in this section

CourtsRugbySportIrelandPlace: Thomond ParkPlace: DubaiPlace: NUI GalwayPlace: LanePlace: Ni DhromaPlace: Old BelvederePerson: Adam GriggsPerson: Laura GuestPerson: GuestPerson: Anna CaplicePerson: Deirbhile NicPerson: Michelle ClaffeyPerson: Lindsay PeatPerson: Sene NaoupuPerson: Ailsa HughesPerson: Aimee ClarkePerson: Nicole CarrollPerson: Susan VaughanPerson: Megan WilliamsPerson: ClarkePerson: Sophie SpencePerson: Ciara CooneyPerson: Meg KendalPerson: Paula FitzpatrickPerson: L O’MahonyPerson: L SheehanPerson: A StauntonPerson: N KavanaghPerson: S PuaPerson: R AllenPerson: E MurphyPerson: F HayesPerson: G BourkePerson: F ReidyPerson: S McCarthyPerson: C PearsePerson: C GriffinPerson: S FlemingPerson: A CaplicePerson: L LyonsPerson: M CollinsPerson: TraleePerson: Z GrattagePerson: R OrmondPerson: C ArthursPerson: V PowerPerson: D Nic a BhairdPerson: N CarrollPerson: A ClarkePerson: A DonnellyPerson: M ClaffeyPerson: S VaughanPerson: S NaoupuPerson: A HughesPerson: L PeatPerson: C MoloneyPerson: F O’BrienPerson: A McDermottPerson: O FitzsimonsPerson: S SpencePerson: C CooneyPerson: P FitzpatrickPerson: J FinlayPerson: C MolloyPerson: GoreyPerson: C HaneyPerson: R HoranPerson: CYMPerson: M KendalPerson: M ParkinsonPerson: WicklowPerson: M KennyPerson: L MuldoonPerson: L McGoldrickPerson: CookePerson: B HoganPerson: P McAlisterPerson: MalonePerson: A GrahamPerson: N CaugheyPerson: K DanePerson: I Van StadenPerson: N JonesPerson: A O’ConnellPerson: Co. CavanPerson: H BeattiePerson: A MaginnPerson: BALLYNAHINCHPerson: B CreganPerson: L MegarityPerson: L MaginnesPerson: G McCutcheonPerson: S Mac LaimhinPerson: Helen McGheePerson: Rebecca SmythPerson: S CobainPerson: E JordanPerson: C JohnstonPerson: E DowneyPerson: MCoynePerson: O DixonPerson: S TouheyPerson: J O’NeillPerson: A MillerPerson: H GriffinPerson: M HealyPerson: L FeelyPerson: C O’ConnorPerson: AM O’HoraPerson: A RouxPerson: N CaldbeckPerson: TullowPerson: E McMahonPerson: G EganPerson: N FrydayPerson: E DillanePerson: K O’DwyerPerson: D RedmondPerson: K DouglasPerson: S EganEvent: IRFU Women&Event: ;s Interprovincial ChampionshipEvent: ChristmasEvent: World Sevens SeriesOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: ULOrganisation: Suttonians’Organisation: ConnachtOrganisation: Railway UnionOrganisation: St. MaryOrganisation: BluesOrganisation: Belfast Harlequins RFCOrganisation: UL BohemiansOrganisation: Old BelvedereOrganisation: HighfieldOrganisation: BallincolligOrganisation: SuttoniansOrganisation: BlackrockOrganisation: St.Organisation: OldOrganisation: RailwayOrganisation: St. Mary’sOrganisation: TullamoreOrganisation: CastlebarOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: C Dunne
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