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Former Ireland captain Coghlan to lead Barbarians in historic clash with Munster

Munster have also named their teams – one for the first half, another for the second – for tomorrow’s match at Thomond Park.

Coghlan after an Ireland-England Legends game in Belfast this summer.
Coghlan after an Ireland-England Legends game in Belfast this summer.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE FIRST-EVER Barbarians women’s team has been named, with former Ireland star Fiona Coghlan wearing the captain’s armband as they face Munster tomorrow (kick-off 4.45pm).

Two other Irish players — Maz Reilly and Jackie Shiels — are set to start in the historic Thomond Park clash, with Ailis Egan, Edel McMahon, Nora Stapleton and Tania Rosser named on the bench.

Former Ireland captain Coghlan retired from international duty in 2014 with 85 caps under her belt, a 2013 Grand Slam, and the honour of having led Ireland to a win over the Black Ferns and a best-ever fourth place finish at the 2014 World Cup.

Coached by England World Cup winner Giselle Mather, seven different nations are represented in the 23-strong panel, which has over 1,000 caps in total.

Munster yesterday named their team for the meeting, which acts as a curtain raiser for the Barbarians men’s team’s encounter with Tonga (kick-off 7.30pm).

Tralee RFC’s Siobhan Fleming captains the 30-player squad with a different XV to line out in each half for Laura Guest’s first game as head coach.

There are 10 Ireland internationals named in the Munster side, and five players who have represented the Ireland sevens team including Nicole Cronin and Anna Caplice.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Guest said ahead of the fixture.

“I hope that the girls really enjoy it first and foremost because it’s a history-making opportunity and it’s something that might never come around again – the chance to play a Barbarians side at the home of Munster Rugby.”

Barbarians

Munster

First half: Laura O’Mahony (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland 7s); Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemian RFC), Aine Staunton (UL Bohemian RFC), Christine Arthurs (Highfield RFC/Ireland 7s), Syphonia Pua (UL Bohemian RFC); Valerie Power (Shannon RFC), Nicole Cronin  (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland & Ireland 7s); Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland), Edel Murphy (UL Bohemian RFC), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland); Nuala O’Connor (Tralee RFC), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland); Dinah O’Mahony (Bandon RFC), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee RFC/Ireland) (C), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland & Ireland 7s).

Second half: Linda McNamara (Highfield RFC); Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian RFC), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland & Ireland 7s), Rachel Allen (UL Bohemian RFC), Tracy Collopy (Shannon RFC); Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere RFC), Helen McDermott (UL Bohemian RFC); Leah Lyons (Highfield RFC/Ireland), Zoe Grattage (Highfield RFC/Ireland), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland); Eileen Foley (Bandon RFC), Roisin Ormond (Ballincollig RFC); Clodagh O’Halloran (UL Bohemian RFC), Siobhan McCarthy (Railway Union RFC), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian RFC/Ireland).

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