The teams have been announced for the U18 Women’s Interprovincial between Ulster and Leinster which takes place at City of Armagh RFC on Saturday afternoon, kick off 3:00pm.

The sides lost 9 players between them, I believe, due to an Ireland 7s camp being held on the same day.

For the second week running Ulster will be missing Mya Alcorn, Amanda McQuade and Lucy Turkington who will be joined this week by Zara Flack and, our “Gal of the Game” from last week, India Daley. By my calculations Leinster will be missing four players.

Both teams won their opening match last week with Ulster battling back to beat Munster in Cork and Leinster stormed to the top of the Interpro table with a 7 try win against Connacht at home.

U18 Interprovincial Table 

Leinster U18 1 1 0 0 39 10 29 7 2 1 0 5
Ulster U18 1 1 0 0 17 12 5 3 2 0 0 4
Munster U18 1 0 0 1 12 17 -5 2 3 0 1 1
Connacht U18 1 0 0 1 10 39 -29 2 7 0 0 0

So Saturday gives us a clash between the top two. However, nothing will be decided in this game as this year the competition has an extended run with the first three games being played on a round robin basis to decide the seedings for a subsequent semi final and final.

Ulster have made two personnel and two positional changes to their starting squad to adjust for the absence of centre Zara Flack and No 8 India Daley.  In the backs Lucy Thompson moves from wing to centre to replace Flack and Emma Ryan comes off the bench to take Thompsons place on the wing. 

The difficult decision of who to drop to make way for last weeks two try hero Rachel McGee has been avoided with Daley’s call up to the Ireland 7s squad, though I would have loved to see that pair play in tandem for the full 70 mins. McGee comes in at blind side with Sophie Barrett dropping back to No 8.

Jennifer Collins (Donaghadee) and Jana McQuillan (Larne) come in to take the vacant positions on the bench.

Leinster have made three changes to to thier match day 23 ahead of the game as Nina Hjalmers, Vicky Elms Kinlan and Oreoluwa Oluteju come into the squad.


Ulster U18 Leinster U18
Farrah McCloskey (Enniskillen) 15 Laura Carty (Edenderry)
Sophie Kinghan (Dundalk) 14 Orla Hayes (Ashbourne)
Lucy Thompson (Enniskillen) 13 Ciara Faulkner (Tullamore)
Moya Hill (Enniskillen) 12 Emma Kelly (Tullamore)
Emma Ryan (Virginia) 11 Rachel Conroy (Tullamore)
Toni Macartney (Larne) 10 Ava Jenkins (Mullingar)
Sarah Shrestha (Dungannon) 9 Beth Roberts (Wicklow)
Ella Garland (Cooke) 1 Emily Jo White (North Meath)
Aoife Cahill (Malone) 2 Ellen Murray (Naas)
Ava Fannin (C) (Virginia) 3 Eimer Douglas (Wicklow)
Kim Johnston (Dungannon) 4 Ivanna Dempsey (Naas)
Taryn Schutzler (Malone) 5 Dara Yore (North Meath)
Rachel McGee (Ballyshannon) 6 Hannah Foxe (Tullamore)
Erin Carson (Malone) 7 Erin King (Naas)
Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen) 8 Ellie Meade (Dundalk) (C)
Cara O’Neill (Malone) 16 Emily Slater (Arklow)
Hannah Cooney (Malone) 17 Rachel Murtagh (Naas)
Delyth Cook (Ballyclare) 18 Oreoluwa Oluteju (Cill Dara)
S. Cassidy Campbell (Ballyclare) 19 Nina Hjalmers (Dundalk)
Jennifer Collins (Donaghadee) 20 Aoife Wafer (Enniscorthy)
Lauren Kilfedder (Enniskillen) 21 Katie Whelan (Enniscorthy)
Jana McQuillan (Larne) 22 Kathryn Dempsey (New Ross)
Jenna Corkey (City of Armagh) 23 Vicky Elms Kinlan (Wicklow)

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With the five matches this season we at The FRU have decided to try another new initiative for our coverage using a scorecard to determine how the team improves over the five games.

Based on our years of experience of covering the women’s game and the tens if not hundreds of thousands of images we’ve sifted through of players performing at the key areas of our focus we’ve put together a scorecard where we measure team performance over the following areas – passing, tackling, rucking, mauling, scrums, lineouts, restarts and general kicking as well as the overall energy of the team and it’s tactical awareness.

We’ve weighted the scoring for the age and experience of the players and the rating is 5 average, 6 good, 7 – 9 very good to excellent and 10 is outstanding.

Anything below 5 needs a wee bit of work. So a good side should score an average of 6 or more and a very good side would be 6 or above in all categories.

The average score for the Ulster 18’s on Saturday past comes out a 5.6 which is a fine start – the individual category scores are shown below.

What it’s telling us is that energy was excellent and tackling was very good. However, passing, rucking and restarts all need a bit of work. It’ll be interesting to see how the team profile develops over the next four weeks. 😯