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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019
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'We do need more than one AIL club in Munster': Considine hoping to light the way in inter-pro semi-finals

The international fullback captains the southern province against Connacht in Templeville Road today.

Considine on the run in the win over Ulster.
Considine on the run in the win over Ulster.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

THE NEXT FEW months promises to be hectic for Munster and Ireland star Eimear Considine.

Teaching at St Mary’s HFC in Glasnevin, the Clare native expectS to resume club and international duty in October and November respectively. Additionally, having worked as an analyst for Irish-language channel TG4 over the past 12 months, she has joined Eir Sport for their coverage of the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.

She will be joined on the panel of experts by Ireland Sevens international Louise Galvin and Considine is keen to emphasise they are both there on merit.

“Louise and myself have both played at that high level. We’ve both played in a World Cup before. She’s played in a Sevens World Cup as well. I suppose it’s about time that they do have women on board and realise that women are there because they’re good enough to be there. As opposed to just because they’re women,” Considine stresses.

“The thing is, people will be criticising it and analysing your analysis. There’s always people who are going to have different comments and different opinions, whereas they mightn’t have understood my comments as gaeilge! It’s a good challenge.”

Before all of that, there is the pressing matter of this afternoon’s Inter-provincial Championship semi-final clash with Connacht at Templeville Road (kick-off 1.30pm). Whereas the competition operated on a round-robin basis in previous seasons, knock-out rounds have been added to the equation in 2019. This has allowed Laura Guest (who heads up an all-female Munster coaching team) to explore the options within her ranks, leaving them in a good place ahead of their showdown against the westerners.

“Usually at this stage, you’re only really getting going and then it’s the last game. It’s great to have those extra two games, it meant we got to have a lot of squad rotation. It meant girls played in positions they wouldn’t usually play, but at the end of the day we were already through to a semi-final anyway.

“Obviously we went out to win those games, but it was good that everyone did get a chance to show what they were made off and to put their hands up for selection for a semi-final and a final spot.”

Since returning to the fold in November 2018 – following an overseas sabbatical – Considine has become a key figure in Adam Griggs’ Irish set-up. She has recorded four tries in her last seven international appearances and was recently a Women’s 15s Player of the Year nominee at the Zurich Irish Rugby Players Awards.

 It was a difficult Six Nations campaign for Ireland in the spring, with a second-round triumph over Scotland proving to be their solitary success in the Championship. Nevertheless, the former GAA dual star remains positive about the road ahead – which includes a series of World Cup qualifiers in September 2020.

“When you reflect and take time away from it [Six Nations] and you think about it, it was very disappointing. Scotland, Italy and Wales would definitely have been our three to win and we didn’t hit those targets this year.

eimear-considine-and-nichola-fryday Munster's Eimear Considine and Connacht's Nichola Fryday pictured ahead of today's semi-finals. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

“We’ve a lot of pre-season games coming up and we’ve a lot of plans in place for the next year. It will be busy with trying to qualify for that World Cup as well as the Six Nations and trying to better our performance in last year’s Six Nations, for sure.”

For Considine, a strong provincial and club scene in Ireland can ultimately work to the benefit of the national team. Her side – UL Bohemians – are currently the only All-Ireland League outfit in the province, but she sees green shoots in the work being done in the underage ranks.

“We do need more than one AIL club in Munster. I’m lucky to play with Bohs and have such a great team, and have so many people around us that are at the level that they can play with Munster,” Considine said.

“There is lots of underage clubs, it’s just having to start somewhere and they started from the bottom up. In two, three, four years they will have senior clubs and they will be coming up the ranks in the divisions. Putting it up against Bohs at some stage in the future.”

Munster: Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian, Capt)); Stephanie Carroll (Railway Union), Enya Breen (UL Bohemian), Ciara Scanlan (St. Mary’s College), Laura O’Mahony (UL Bohemian); Rachel Allen (UL Bohemian), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian); Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian) (C), Edel Murphy (UL Bohemian), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian), Sarah Garrett (UL Bohemian), Dorothy Wall (Fethard & District), Grainne Fennelly (Thurles), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian), Sarah Quin (UL Bohemian). 

Replacements: Kate Sheehan (UL Bohemian), Laura Delaney (UL Bohemian), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemian), Claire Bennett (UL Bohemian)*, Clodagh O’Halloran (UL Bohemian), Christine Coffey (Thurles), Claire Keohane (Railway Union), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemian). 

Connacht: Aoibheann Reilly (Ballinasloe); Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe), Catherine Martin (Suttonians), Shannon Touhey (Galwegians), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere); Meabh Deely (Ballinasloe), Mary Healy (Galwegians); Laura Feely (Galwegians), Moya Griffin (Tullamore), Anne-Marie O’Hora (Galwegians), Tara Buggie (Galwegians), Denise Redmond (Galwegians), Ciara Farrell (Tullamore), Edel McMahon (Galwegians), Nichola Fryday (Galwegians, Capt)).

Replacements: Elizabeth McNicholas (Shannon), Katie Murray (Tullamore), Aifric O’Brien (Suttonians), Lily Brady (Westport), Shannen Lane (Galwegians), Nicole Fowley (Galwegians), Orla Dixon (Galwegians), Aisling Brosnan (Co. Carlow).

With the warm-up games out of the way, Murray, Bernard and Gavan discuss the renewed cause for optimism, impressive individual player form, and a potential quarter-final versus either South Africa or New Zealand.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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