Ulster Women play their final Interprovincial match of the season this Saturday when they face Connacht at the Sportsground, KO 2:30pm.
As expected, the starting XV remains the same after their impressive display against Leinster Women last weekend but there have been two changes in the replacements bench with Noreen Nethercott and Zoe Templeton returning to the squad in place of Kelly Holmes and Brenda Brogan.
It’s been a mixed series so far for the Ulster Ladies with a disappointing and disjointed performance against Munster in their first outing in Belfast with the home side going down 10 – 36.
Things improved immeasurably with a second half comeback against Leinster only to lose 20 – 24 at the final whistle, and having watched that performance there is a pleasingly large group of players who could do their Ireland chances no harm at all if they can take another step up this weekend in their performance against Connacht.
Both teams have been improving week on week but, if the likes of Broome, Ballentine, McCutcheon, Wilson and Armstrong can bring the same aggression that the front row of Staden, Kennedy and O’Brien brought last week then I can only see an Ulster win.
If they don’t, then the girls from the West will be only too willing, and more than able, to pinch this one.
Connacht Women: Alison Miller, Emma Cleary, Christine Arthurs, Clare Raftery, Jacqui Mulligan, Ciara O’Connor, Sorcha NiChadhain, Ruth O’Reilly, anala Kehoe, Beth Mallard, Cliodhna Hughes, Niamh Dempsey, Heather Cary, Michelle Barry, Carol Staunton. Replacements: Jean Moore, Maire Hanley, Mary Rose Flanagan, Marion Sheridan, Lisa McDonnagh, Margaret Fitzgibbon, Niamh Ni Dhroma, Leanne McCarthy, Katherine McDonagh, Yvonne Delaney.
Ulster Women: Ashleigh Baxter, Jemma Jackson, Amy Davis, Claire McLaughlin, Nikki Caughey, Grace Davitt, Imogen Porter, Ilse van Staden, Stacey Lea Kennedy (C), Fiona O’Brien, Lizzie Ballentine, Colette Broome, Shirelle Wilson, Gemma McCutcheon, Nikita Armstrong. Replacements: Laura Feely, Sorcha Chipperfield, Hannah Kilgore, Noreen Nethercott, Dani Boyd, Aiofe Walsh, Zoe Templeton.