The 2023 Women’s Rugby Interprovincial Matches are set to kick off, and there’s widespread agreement that the new scheduling is a win-win for Irish women’s rugby.
With the competition now aligning perfectly with the start of the season, players and fans alike are eager to witness the action-packed clashes between the four provinces: Munster, Ulster, Connacht, and Leinster. This revamped schedule not only promises fierce interprovincial rivalries but also provides valuable preparation for the upcoming World XVs competition, acting as a stepping stone for players on the international stage.
Optimal Timing for High-Stakes Battles:
The IRFU’s strategic decision to place the Interprovincial Championships right at the beginning of the season has been met with enthusiasm. Reigning champions Munster will take on Ulster at the City of Armagh RFC, while Connacht will host Leinster in The Showgrounds. The highly anticipated competition will conclude on September 2, setting the stage for an intense and thrilling rugby spectacle.
Golden Opportunity for International Players:
The revised scheduling of the 2023-24 Vodafone Interprovincial Championships has been met with resounding approval from senior international players. The new window grants players four games before their international duties, allowing them valuable game time, which they view as gold. This unprecedented opportunity to participate in a full-blooded interprovincial series before representing their country in the inaugural World XVs competition in October has players eagerly anticipating the challenges that lie ahead.
Players’ Excitement and Expectations:
The players themselves have expressed their excitement for the upcoming Interprovincial Matches. Munster and Ireland flanker Dorothy Wall hailed the new scheduling as a breath of fresh air, while Connacht scrum half Aoibheann Reilly praised the brilliant timing, emphasizing how the interpros will set the standards for the players. Ulster’s rising star, prop Sadhbh McGrath, is looking forward to gaining valuable experience and learning in game situations, while Leinster winger Natasja Behan believes the new calendar will benefit the team by providing critical game time and setting high standards.
Interpros as a Talent Development Platform:
The significance of the Interprovincial Matches as a competition that nurtures and showcases talent is not lost on the players. Many of them recall how these matches were pivotal in gaining recognition and opportunities, making them an essential stepping stone in their careers. With the World XVs looming ahead, the interpros present a unique chance for players to prove their worth and secure their spots on the national team under new head coach Scott Bemand, who brings invaluable experience from England’s successful Red Roses.
As the 2023 Women’s Rugby Interprovincial Matches approach, anticipation and excitement are at an all-time high. The strategic scheduling at the beginning of the season is universally lauded, providing players with valuable game time and preparation for the upcoming World XVs competition. With seasoned champions and talented newcomers ready to compete, these interpros promise thrilling battles, fierce rivalries, and an unforgettable showcase of Irish women’s rugby talent.
2023/24 VODAFONE WOMEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
Round 1, Saturday August 12: Ulster v Munster, City of Armagh RFC, 3pm; Connacht v Leinster, the Sportsground, 5.15pm.
Round 2, Saturday August 19: Leinster v Ulster, EnergiaPark, 1pm; Munster v Connacht, Musgrave Park, 3.15pm.
Round 3, Saturday, August 26: Connacht v Ulster, The Sportsground, 2.30pm; Leinster v Munster, Energia Park, 4.45pm.
Finals Day, Saturday September 2, Venue TBC.
Vodafone have sponsored the Women’s Interprovincial Championships since 2020 and are also the principal sponsors of the Irish men’s team.