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Peita McAllister should be a key player for Ulster tomorrow.

Peita McAllister should be a key player for Ulster tomorrow.

Ulster Women are on the road for their second Interprovincial, playing Connacht at the Sportsground tomorrow afternoon. (KO 3:00 pm)

There are a few changes to the starting XV from the team that lost to Munster last weekend with Cooke’s openside flanker Beth Cregan making her debut in the back row alongside Enniskillen’s Noreen Nethercot who is also brought into the side. Queen’s University hooker Janine Mullan is the only other change up front.

Connacht

1. Laura Feely (Galwegians)
2. Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians)
3. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians)
4. Rita Breen (NUIG)
5. Catriona Cassidy (Portlaoise)
6. Marion Sheridan (Tuam/Galwegians)
7. Heather Cary (Galwegians)
8. Grainne Egan (St Marys)
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians)
10. Clare Rafferty (Galwegians)
11. Emer O Mahony (Tralee)
12. Niamh Ni Dromha (Buccaneers)
13. Emma Clery (Galwegians)
14. Jill Draper (Tullamore)
15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians)

16. Jean Moore (Portlaoise)
17. Edel Durkin (Tuam)
18. Edel McMahon (NUIG/Galwegians)
19. Niamh Dempsey (Tralee)
20. Lisa McDonagh (Galwegians)
21. Nicole Fowley (Sligo)
22. Jacqui Mulligan (Sligo)

The the backs, Stacey Sloan and Gemma McCutcheon form an all-new centre partnership. Emma Jordan (left wing), Vicky Irwin (right wing) and Peita McAlister (fullback) start in different positions than they played last week. Maybe a good move for the impressive McAlister who should see more ball at the back.

Despite Ulster having the edge over Connacht the last few seasons I’m afraid it will be another backs to the wall game for Ulster as Connacht have a much more settled side this season and they won’t be impacted as much by missing internationals. In fact I had the Westies tipped as the team to win the series this season though their narrow defeat to Leinster last weekend may have ruled that out!

Ulster

1. Ilse Van Staden (Belfast Harlequins)
2. Janine Mullan (Queen’s University)
3. Nikita Armstrong (captain, Cooke)
4. Sorcha Chipperfield (Cooke)
5. Lizzie Ballentine (Cooke)
6. Noreen Nethercot (Enniskillen)
7. Beth Creggan (Cooke)
8. Lauren Maginnes (Queen’s University)
9. Imogen Porter (Queen’s University)
10. Jemma Jackson (Queen’s University)
11. Emma Jordan (Queen’s University)
12. Stacey Sloan (City Of Derry)
13. Gemma McCutcheon (Queen’s University)
14. Vicky Irwin (Ormskirk)
15. Peita McAlister (Queen’s University)

16. Sabrina Higgins (Carrick)
17. Lesley Megarity (Belfast Harlequins)
18. Alanagh Chipperfield (Belfast Harlequins)
19. Shirelle Wilson (Cooke)
20. Laura Johnston (Cooke)
21. Steffi Clarke (Queen’s University)
22. Emma Rea (Cooke)
23. Rebecca Smyth (Belfast Harlequins)

If Ulster are going to get anything out of his game they will certainly have to improve their play at contact as they turned over far to much ball, in attack and defence, last time out and what ball they did secure they tended to kick away fairly cheaply.

The talented Jemma Jackson will need to take the game by the scruff of the neck and get Ulster on the front foot. With the abrasive Gemma McCutcheon in midfield and McAllister running from deep they may stand a chance of an upset.

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