Ireland star Naoupu to captain Leinster in upcoming inter-pro series

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL SENE Naoupu will captain Leinster as they look to regain the IRFU women’s inter-provincial series off Munster when the action gets underway next weekend.

Naoupu, who is in her second season with the eastern province, will lead a new-look Leinster side for the series, which has been brought forward from its traditional December slot.

New Leinster coach Ben Armstrong has included 10 uncapped players in his first squad but the loss of last season’s captain Paula Fitzpatrick, Jenny Murphy — currently sidelined through injury — and the retired Sophie Spence strips him of vital experience.

Leinster will look to talismanic centre Naoupu to help fill that void while the likes of Megan Williams, Ailsa Hughes, Lindsay Peat, Ciara Cooney and Aoife McDermott all bring international pedigree.

The eastern province get their inter-pro campaign underway against Ulster at Stradbrook next Friday, before travelling to face Connacht in Galway on Sunday 9 September.

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Leinster’s final game of the series is against holders Munster at Donnybrook on Saturday 15 September, which follows the province’s Pro14 clash against Dragons at the RDS earlier that day.

Leinster squad:

Susan Vaughan (Railway Union), Megan Williams (Old Belvedere), Aine Donnelly (Old Belvedere), Ray Lawless (Blackrock) *, Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere) (capt), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union), Eimear Corri (Blackrock), Nikki Caughey (Railway Union), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock), Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere) *, Nicole Carroll (Suttonians), Gemma Matthews (Old Belvedere) *, Niamh Griffin (Blackrock), Elise O’Byrne-White (Old Belvedere), Lauren Farrell McCabe (Suttonians) *, Lindsay Peat (Railway Union), Ann-Marie Rooney (Blackrock), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union), Elaine Anthony (Old Belvedere) *, Juliet Short (Railway Union), Nicole Purdom (Suttonians) *, Mairead Holohan (Blackrock), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere) *, Emma Hooban (St. Mary’s) *, Christy Haney (St. Mary’s), Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union) *, Rachel Horan (CYM), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union), Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock) *, Meg Kendall (Railway Union), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock).

*Denotes uncapped player

Leinster fixtures:Friday 31 August: Leinster v Ulster, Stradbrook, 7pm.Sunday 9 September: Connacht v Leinster, Sportsground, 3pm.Saturday 15 September: Leinster v Munster, Donnybrook, 7.30pm

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