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Will we get a smile from Imogen this week?

The Women’s Interpro’s are back this weekend with Ulster travelling to Galway for a crunch game against Connacht on Saturday afternoon at the Sportsground. KO 2:30pm.

Neither side has posted a win this series so both will be pushing hard to avoid the wooden spoon, but it’s going to be a big ask for the Ulster side who have been ravaged by injuries this last week. Out of the squad drop Claire Knipe, Zoe Templeton, Brigid Reynolds and Shirelle Wilson who join long term injuries Eliza Downey and Brenda Brogan in the treatment room, but one persons misfortune is another’s opportunity, and Sorcha Chipperfield, Gemma McCutcheon, Rachel Lennox and Natasha Miligan join the squad for the first time this season, all starting from the bench.

Lennox and Miligan bring the City of Derry representation to six, a fair representation of their successful season, and Chipperfield will be the third Quins player to take the field for the ambitious Belfast side. However of particular interest will be young Gemma McCutcheon who produced a strong second half performance last weekend for Enniskillen after taking a first half battering from Derry’s Diane Nixon. It’s a big step up for the Skins youngster but she certainly showed that she has the determination and ability to raise her game.

The starting XV shows a few positional changes, with the combative Stacey Lea Kennedy returning to the middle of the front row swapping places with Hilary Quinn as the Cavan Kiwi moves to 7. Captain Lizzie Ballentine slips back from prop to the second row, freeing up Glenda Mellon who takes the openside flankers position vacated by the injured Knipe.

The backs remain unchanged leaving the team as follows:

1 Lucy Fagan (Cooke), 2 Stacey Lea Kennedy (City of Derry), 3 Lauren Day (Exile), 4 Lizzie Ballentine (C) (Cooke), 5 Christina McDowell (Cooke), 6 Glenda Mellon (City of Derry), 7 Hilary Quinn (Cavan), 8 Nikita Armstrong (Cooke), 9 Imogen Porter (VC) (Cooke), 10 Grace Davitt (Cooke), 11 Laura Stewart (Cooke), 12 Laura Nicholl (Cooke), 13 Claire McLaughlin (Cooke), 14 Kelly Holmes (City of Derry), 15 Teah Maguire (Cooke), 16 Sorcha Chipperfield (Belfast Harlequins) 17 Nicola Dickson (Cooke), 18 Gemma McCutcheon (Enniskillen), 19 Rachel Lennox (City of Derry), 20 Alana McCaffrey (Enniskillen), 21 Bridin McDermott (City of Derry), 22 Natasha Milligan (City of Derry).

Correction: My apologies to Rachel Lennox and Rachel Fleming for getting them mixed up in an earlier version of this report. Too many Rachel’s from Derry if you ask me! 🙂
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