Ulster Women start this season’s inter-provincial series against on Saturday (Portadown RFC, 3.00pm), with coaches Philip Doyle and Jarrett Truscott calling on a mix of youth and experience for their match day squad.
Lesley Megarity will captain the side from hooker and she is joined in the front row by experience Cooke teammates Ilse van Staden and Nikita Armstrong. Omagh’s Naomi McCullough will make her senior debut in the second row alongside Colette Broome. Another debutant, Niamh Fitzgerald, has been named in the back row with Queen’s University duo Imogen Porter and Lauren Maginnes.
Promising young Enniskillen scrumhalf Kathryn Dane has been included after a string of brilliant performance at Ireland underage level. She is partnered at half back by influential playmaker Jemma Jackson.
Claire McLaughlin and ex-Ireland international Grace Davitt will combine in midfield, while Cooke players make up the entire back three; Eliza Downey, Amy Davis and Teah Maguire.
There is plenty of experience among the replacements. Jamie Love and Amy O’Neill will make their first senior appearances if called upon.
ULSTER WOMEN’S TEAM TO PLAY LEINSTER (Saturday 22nd August 2015, Portadown RFC, 3.00pm):
1. Ilse Van Staden (Cooke)
2. Lesley Megarity (Cooke, captain)
3. Nikita Armstrong (Cooke)
4. Colette Broome (Queen’s University)
5. Naomi McCullagh (Omagh)
6. Niamh Fitzgerald (Old Belvedere)
7. Imogen Porter (Queen’s University)
8. Lauren Maginnes (Queen’s University)
9. Kathryn Dane (Enniskillen)
10. Jemma Jackson (Queen’s University)
11. Eliza Downey (Cooke)
12. Claire McLaughlin (Queen’s University)
13. Grace Davitt (Cooke)
14. Amy Davis (Cooke)
15. Teah Maguire (Cooke)
16. Jamie Love (City of Derry)
17. Sorcha Chipperfield (Cooke)
18. Shannon Heapes (City of Derry)
19. Amy O’Neill (Blackrock)
20. Noreen Nethercott (Enniskillen)
21. Stacey Sloan (City of Derry)
22. Zoe Templeton (Queen’s University)
23. Peita McAlister (Queen’s University)
ULSTER WOMEN’S MANAGEMENT TEAM:
Coaches – Philip Doyle and Jarrett Truscott
Team Manager – Kerry Spence
Resources Co-ordinator – Andy Weir
Physio – Andrew Creaney
Strength & Conditioning Coaches – Paul Heasley and Stewart Walker