Monday 17 December 2018

Women edge Leinster to claim interpro crown

Siobhan Fleming lifting the cup after her side’s Women’s Interprovincial triumph. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Siobhan Fleming lifting the cup after her side’s Women’s Interprovincial triumph. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Munster Women, sponsored by Keanes Jewellers, pushed past Leinster 11-5 at Thomond Park last month to be crowned the interprovincial champions in the final match of their campaign.

Head coach Laura Guest's charges came into the final match having suffered defeat in the opening game to Connacht, but got back on track with a win over Ulster in the next round. Leinster's campaign saw them undefeated as they headed for Thomond Park top of the table, giving them the edge as they sought to defend their title.

However, the women in red had different plans and claimed the title following the victory with a marginally superior points difference ensuring the trophy returned south.

Following the result, ten representatives were named in the Ireland Women's squad for the Women's Six Nations including six from the interpro-winning side - Ciara Griffin, Chloe Pearse, Fiona Reidy, Leah Lyons, Anna Caplice and Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird - and the returning internationals Niamh Briggs, Nicole Cronin, Louise Galvin and Elaine Anthony.

U-20s impress

Future stars of Irish Rugby were in action in Thomond Park over the festive period with a Peter Malone-coached Munster Development side taking on Ireland U-20s ahead of the upcoming U-20 Six Nations.

While Munster Development included a mix of academy and sub academy players, Ireland U-20s included four Munster representatives with UCC’s James French and academy players James McCarthy (UL Bohs) and Jack O’Sullivan (UCC) in the starting XV, while Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen) was named in the replacements for the men in green.

Although Munster led 10-7 thanks to a try each from Liam Coombes and Sean Duffy, the visitors finished the stronger and it ended 26-10 in favour of the young Irish side. The exercise will again prove beneficial when making final selection calls for the upcoming Six Nations campaign.

Support for talent

The Rugby Development Department will host a Talent Development Conference at Thomond Park on Wednesday, January 24 (7pm) for all coaches and parents involved in sport at age-grade level.

Keynote speakers Dr Áine McNamara and Professor Dave Collins will deliver a presentation on how to best support children through talent development pathways and will share their knowledge as world leaders in this area.

Topics will include: Myths and Truths of Talent Development, Concerns and Considerations for Parents, Concerns and Considerations for Coaches, What to do to Stay Ahead, The Rocky Road to Success.

Dr McNamara and Professor Collins, both from the University of Central Lancashire’s Institute of Coaching and Performance, have worked in Talent Development for over 20 years and consulted Leicester Tigers, Chelsea FC, England Hockey and the Lawn Tennis Association.

To book your place online, please visit the coaching events section of

Prices: Adults €15; School/College Student €10. For further information, please email:

Rivals face Challenge

The Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup finalists have been confirmed with Garryowen and UL Bohemian set to meet at Thomond Park on Friday, January 12.

Garryowen overcame Cork Constitution 23-14 in their semi-final encounter at Dooradoyle, while UL Bohemian secured their place in the final following a 22-8 semi-final win over Bruff.

Fixture Details – Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Challenge Cup Final: Garryowen v UL Bohemian, Friday, January 12, Thomond Park, 7.30pm.

Irish Independent

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