Thursday 19 January 2017

Expect Finals Day magic as girls' game blossoms on back of Ireland heroics

Published 10/04/2015 | 02:30

16 November 2013; Maeve O'Brien, Leinster is tackled by Neasa McKenna, Munster. Girls U18 Interprovincial Blitz, Westmanstown RFC, Westmanstown, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
16 November 2013; Maeve O'Brien, Leinster is tackled by Neasa McKenna, Munster. Girls U18 Interprovincial Blitz, Westmanstown RFC, Westmanstown, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

There has never been a greater focus or interest in girls' rugby than there is right now.

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Ireland's Grand Slam victory in 2013, the performance in the World Cup in 2014 - beating the Black Ferns - and of course winning the Six Nations championship in 2015 have all built the profile of the girls' game.

This has led to an unprecedented uptake in the game at youth level.

The Leinster U-18 team have retained the All-Ireland Inter Provincial title and the Ireland squads draw heavily from Leinster.

There are approximately 410 players active across the U-15 and U-18 level, with 12 teams playing in the province at U-15 level and 15 teams playing at U-18 level.

The Leinster Branch has run leagues at U-15 and U-18 this season and have hosted 30 matches at U-15 level. In the U-18 level there were 56 matches.

The culmination of the season will be in Donnybrook tomorrow, April 11, when the Bank of Ireland League Finals Day will be hosted at the iconic venue.

There will be eight clubs represented on the day.

At U-15 level the Plate final is between Wicklow and Gorey, with kick-off at 12 noon. At 2.0 Navan face Tullamore for the U-15 Premier League title.

At U-18 level, the Bowl final kicks off at noon and Tullamore face Wexford or Westmanstown. The Plate final is at 2.0 between Portlaoise and New Ross.

Rounding out the day is the U18 Premier League title match between Wicklow and Tullow at 4.0.

The Donnybrook venue with its new state-of-the art 4G pitches will guarantee a quality surface and provide a stage for the finest youth players to display their skills. Best of luck to all the players involved!

Irish Independent

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