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Champs in top shape

Preparation is in full swing for Leinster ladies rugby team as the new Interprovincial season draws closer.

The defending champions look to be on course for another successful campaign having warmed up recently with a 26-5 win over Connacht in a friendly at Dubarry Park in Athlone.

Leinster showed their dominance and power in the scrum and the breakdown and displayed the type of slick passing and movement that led them to the title last season.

Overall, it was an impressive display from Leinster who play the Irish Exiles in a final warm-up game on November 23 before the defence of the Interprovincial championship begins on December 1.

The team recently set up a partnership with Crunch Fitness gym in Westmanstown.

They have been hard at work in the gym with conditioning coach Ciaran Walsh three times a week and are being put through their paces by head coach Niall Neville, who is assisted on the pitch by Pieter Swanipoel and Colman Campbell.

The feeling among the players is that all of these factors will work in their favour for the upcoming campaign.

Number 8 Alana Lowe said: "We had such a successful season last year winning the Interpros so we will certainly be aiming to do it again."