Ulster Women U18’s squad has been named for their second match of this seasons inter-provincial series where they face Leinster U18s at North Kildare RFC on Saturday afternoon, kick off 13:30.
The starting XV remains the same as the team that started in their win against Connacht, the only changes being the inclusion of Malone’s Naomi McCord and Armagh’s Meabh McAleavey on the bench.
Ulster will once again rely on their powerful pack, led by captain and hooker Grace Shrestha, but they will be looking for an improved performance at the break down and the line out against a Leinster side eager to make amends following a narrow defeat to Munster.
As with last time, Shrestha will be joined in the front trow by Emma Kearney and Ella Garland. Megan Brodie and Caolinn McCormack continue in second row and our “Girl of the Game” Bethany McDowell links up once again with Katie Hetherington and, vice captain, Keelin Brady. It’s still a strong looking pack.
And it’s same again in the backs. Amanda McQuade continues at scrum half where she partners with Lisa Mullen once again. Mullin and inside centre Lucy Turkington got Ulster out of trouble more than a few times with their astute kicking and well timed runs. However, my only minor grumble is that they should work harder to unleash their talented back line a little more often.
Certainly with the dogged Kelly McCorkill at outside centre and flying wingers Ellie Ingham and Mya Alcorn out wide Ulster’s first option should be to get the ball to them as often as possible, secure in the knowledge that full back Ruth Gilsenan is on hand to plug any gaps.
Aoife Cahill, Ava Fannin and Tammy Millar ensure almost seamless replacements in the front row. Sorcha McCormack is joined by Naomi McCord as back row/second row cover. The backs cover will be provided once again by Amber Redmond and Holly Brannigan with Meabh McAleavey coming in for this game.
Ulster Women U18: Ruth Gilsenan, Mya Alcorn, Kelly McCormill, Lucy Turkington, Ellie Ingram. Lisa Mullen, Amanda McQuade, Emma Kearney, Grace Shrestha (c), Ella Garland, Megan Brodie, Caolin McCormack, Bethany McDowell, Katie Hetherington, Keelin Brady (vc). Replacements: Aoife Cahill, Ava Fannin, Tammy Millar, Sorcha McCormack, Naomi McCord, Amber Redmond, Meabh McAleavey, Holly Brannigan.
Management Team: Zoe Templeton (Backs), Charlie Farrell (Forwards), Jemma Jackson (Manager), Imogen Porter (Physio).