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It’s the first game for Laura Guest as Munster head coach

THE Munster Women’s side, sponsored by Keane’s jewellers, has been announced for Friday evening’s historic encounter against the Barbarians at Thomond Park (4.45pm).
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.
The Barbarians are fielding a women’s team for the first time in the clash and have named a 23-strong squad with 1,019 international caps between them as seven different nations will be represented.
Guest has named a side that combines a good mix of youth and experience – there are 10 Ireland internationals named and five of the squad have also represented the Ireland 7s team.
A former Ireland international herself, Guest is looking forward to the landmark occasion.
“They have over a thousand caps between them so it’s going to be a challenge. 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.
“Obviously when you play well you enjoy it even more but it’s a great opportunity for all of us to be involved in. Credit must go to Amanda Greensmith [Munster Rugby Women’s Community Rugby Officer] for all her hard work in organising this fixture.”
With a number of league games scheduled for this weekend, Guest was delighted that the club sides allowed their players to be released for Friday evening’s clash.
“We’ve gotten permission from the clubs to use their players and we’re very grateful for that,” she said.
“We’re mindful that they have games at the weekend so it allows us to play all 30 members of our squad and see how certain combinations match up. It is a great opportunity for the entire squad to be involved rather than just the traditional 23, it guarantees that all of our players will get 40 minutes and that’s something you can’t guarantee too often.”
The game is part of a unique double-header at Thomond Park as the historic clash is followed by the men’s international between Barbarians and Tonga at 7.30pm.
Tickets to both games are available at ticketmaster.ie.
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).
Munster (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).
Editors’ notes:

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