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Ashbourne to host women's Italy clash

Ashbourne RFC play host to the women's international between Ireland and Italy tonight at 7.30pm.

The progressive Meath club are delighted to host the national team once more after having been thrown into the women's international scene last season at short notice when the pitches at Templeville Road were frozen for the Ireland-France game.

Ashbourne may have proven to be a lucky charm after Ireland beat France for the first time in the Six Nations that night.

This season Ashbourne have put huge efforts into providing superb facilities and a great venue for players and supporters alike. Why not take a trip up to Ashbourne and watch the women in action?

Ashbourne RFC boasts three all-weather floodlit pitches. The main pitch is complete with two covered spectator stands. The club also has two floodlit astro pitches that are available to the community.

It is thanks to the club executive and members, Meath County Council and the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism for the support in implementing the club development plans, which is benefiting 300-plus players from the age of six to senior level.

Being community-based, Ashbourne RFC have assisted other local clubs in the use of the facilities. Ashbourne United FC have made arrangements to play their home games at Milltown. Other local clubs, such as the GAA and the Special Olympics, have also used the ground.

Getting to Ashbourne: the Bus Éireann 103 bus leaves Beresford Place, accessible by the Luas red line, every 20 minutes. Bus tickets cost €6.80 (adult day return) and €4.20 (child day return). Match tickets are available on the gate for €10 (adults) and €5 (kids).

IRELAND WOMEN: Niamh Briggs (Clonmel, Munster); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere, Leinster), Grace Davitt (Blackrock, Leinster), Shannon Houston (Blackrock, Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise, Connacht); Joanne O'Sullivan (Richmond, Exile), Tania Rosser (Blackrock, Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians, Leinster), Chris Fanning (Highfield, Munster), Emer McManamly (Blackrock, Leinster); Kate O'Loughlin (Clonmel, Munster), Marie Louise Reilly (Navan, Leinster); Carol Staunton (Galwegians, Connacht), Claire Molloy (Bristol, Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians, Munster). Replacements: Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians, Munster), Lauren Day (Cooke, Ulster), Caroline Mahon (UL Bohemians, Leinster), Louise Austin (UL Bohemians, Munster), Louise Beamish (UL Bohemians, Munster), Helen Brosnan (Highfield, Munster), Eliza Downey (Cooke, Ulster).