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Griffin set to lead women into Six Nations campaign

Munster Notes

Munster's Ciara Griffin. Photo: INPHO
Munster's Ciara Griffin. Photo: INPHO

Munster and UL Bohemian flanker Ciara Griffin has been confirmed as the new Ireland women's captain ahead of the 2018 Women's Six Nations.

Griffin, who made her Ireland debut in the 2016 Women's Six Nations against Wales, has been capped 17 times for her country, and was part of the Munster side that claimed this season's inter-pro title in December.

Munster age-grade players take on their Connacht counterparts in a recent development game
Munster age-grade players take on their Connacht counterparts in a recent development game

On her selection as captain, 24-year-old Griffin said: "I feel so proud to represent my country, and to captain the side is the ultimate honour. We have gotten through a lot of work over the last number of camps and things are shaping up well ahead of the Six Nations getting under way.

"With the new coaching team and some new players involved, alongside those with lots of international experience, I'm really looking forward to kicking things off over in France in a few weeks' time."

Ireland will face Wales on January 21 in an uncapped warm-up fixture at the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly before they get their Six Nations under way against France on February 3 in Toulouse.

They will then play Italy, Wales and Scotland at home in Donnybrook before meeting England in their final game at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Age-grade girls’ squads from Munster and Connacht come together for a development session
Age-grade girls’ squads from Munster and Connacht come together for a development session

Old rivals battle it out for cup glory

The Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup final pits two of Limerick's traditional rivals, UL Bohemian and Garryowen, against one another at Markets Field tonight (kick-off 7.30pm).

The two clubs have met only once in the final before with Garryowen emerging victorious in 1926.

UL Bohemian will be aiming to bridge a 56-year gap and claim the trophy for the fifth time in their illustrious history.

Garryowen lead the roll of honours list and will hope to bring their tally of cup successes to 39.

Whoever wins will break the stranglehold of Cork Constitution who have won the previous five finals.

Form suggests we are set for another enthralling encounter between these two great rivals.

Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup Final: UL Bohemian v Garryowen, Friday, January 19, Markets Field, 7.30pm

Tickets: adults €10, students/OAP €5, children go free

Squads show off their skills

The age-grade player development programme kicked off the new year with the U-16 and U-17 club boys' squads taking on their Connacht counterparts in a development game at UL on Thursday, January 4.

The day commenced with the U-17 game and both teams played in an expansive fashion before the U-16 games proved the players' ability to exploit space in every effort to break each other down.

The new Talent Identified Players (19-21-year-old girls) trained on Wednesday, January 3, with a focus on strength and conditioning, and rugby skill development at the University of Limerick.

The U-18 girls followed a similar programme before all players came together on the 4G pitch where a number of Connacht U-18 girls were invited to participate in the session, providing valuable development for all.

The U-18 girls' coaches, Eugene McCarthy and Euan Gee, were on hand to facilitate the U-18 girls while invited coaches Laura Guest (current Munster ladies head coach) and former Munster players Ben Martin and Mike Storey delivered the TIP girls' session.

Irish Independent

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