Two Ballina RFC players have been selected on the Irish Women’s Under-18 training squad for the inaugural Six Nations to be held in Edinburgh next month.
Sarah McCormick, Ballina, and Clara Barrett, Geesala, are among six Connacht U18 players to be picked on 35-player squad. Molly Boote (Connemara RFC), Karly Tierney (Tuam-Oughterard RFC), Hannah Clarke (Tuam-Oughterard RFC) and Éabha Nic Dhonnacha (Corinthians RFC) have also been selected.
The inaugural Under-18 Women’s festival, which was launched on International Women’s Day, will be held at the DAM Heath Stadium in Edinburgh, with events kicking off on the April 9.
Ireland will play two 35-minute matches against England and France on Saturday April 9, and will face France in a 70-minute game on Wednesday April 13, with a full schedule in due course.
The launch of the Six Nations age grade pathway through the introduction of the Under-18 Women’s festival is a crucial step in strengthening the foundations and conduit for the future generations and stars of the women’s game, and a key step towards further development driven competitions such as an Under-20 Women’s competition.
“This is a great development for our sport, and in particular the Women’s game.”, comments Julie Patterson, Director of Rugby, Six Nations.
“Six Nations Rugby and its unions and federations are committed and excited to put foundations in place, that can lead to the sustainable growth of our Women’s competitions, for the good of the game.
“We are at a watershed moment for Women’s rugby, a huge year for this area of the game, with all eyes on the Rugby World Cup, in New Zealand later this year, and the introduction of a Women’s Under-18 platform highlights the collective ambition to realise this incredible opportunity to motivate growth in the game,” she concluded.
Head of Club & Community Rugby Development Joe Gorham said: “This news is a testament to all the hard work that our management teams, Fraser Gow and Natalie Fox, have put in. Then it was carried forward by Craig Hansberry. They have been up by-roads and down side-roads. This is really exciting time for women’s rugby in the province.”
Women’s Provincial Talent Officer & Womens Participation Officer with Connacht Rugby Ross Mannion said: “It’s an amazing achievement for the six players, their families, their respective clubs and all of us here at Connacht Rugby. We are delighted that they have gotten this opportunity to represent Ireland and there’s an added dimension to this, the fact that it’s the first under-18 Six Nations. It’s really positive in terms of our pathway at Connacht Rugby.”
Backs (17) –
Grace Adams (King’s Hospital/Leinster)
Clara Barrett (Ballina RFC/Connacht)
Ellen Boylan (Carrick-on-Suir RFC/Munster)
Molly Boote (Connemara RFC/Connacht) WNTS
Grainne Burke (Ennis RFC/Munster)
Beth Buttimer (Fethard RFC/Munster)
Hannah Clarke (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht) WNTS
Katie Corrigan (Tullow RFC/Leinster)
Alanna Fitzpatrick (Portarlington RFC/Leinster) WNTS
Kate Flannery (Fethard RFC/Munster) WNTS
Jade Gaffney (Navan RFC/Leinster)
Lucia Linn (Dolphin RFC/Munster)
Abby Moyles (Navan RFC/Leinster)
Éabha Nic Dhonnacha (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht) WNTS
Robyn O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers RFC/Leinster)
Rebecca Rodgers (Ballina-Killaloe RFC/Munster)
Eva Sterritt (Greystones RFC/Leinster) WNTS
Forwards (18) –
Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen RFC/Ulster) WNTS
Jorja Battishill (Malone RFC/Ulster)
Maebh Clenaghan (Letterkenny RFC/Ulster)
Isobel Clerk (Mullingar RFC/Leinster)
Sarah Delaney (Cill Dara RFC/Leinster)
Koren Dunne (Portlaoise RFC/Leinster)
Ciara Fleming (Carrick-on-Suir RFC/Munster)
Prudence Isaac (Arklow RFC/ Leinster)
Aimee Kelly (Bruff RFC/Munster)
Amy O’Mahony (Greystones RFC/Leinster)
Sarah McCormick (Ballina RFC/Connacht)
Aisling McEnroe (Virginia RFC/Ulster) WNTS
Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry RFC/Ulster)
Jane Neill (Arklow RFC/Leinster)
Sarah Roberts (Donaghadee RFC/Ulster)
Karly Tierney (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht)
Orla Wafer (Enniscorthy RFC/Leinster)
Hannah Wilson (Cill Dara RFC/Leinster)