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Ulster Women: Delighted Downey returns

Ulster Women's Eliza Downey is back in action this season for the opening match of the Women's Inter Provincial Series against Leinster at Ravenhill on Saturday. KO 3:00pm.

Downey, who missed most of last season due to injury in the same fixture last year, rose to prominence after some strong displays for Ireland in the 2010 Women's World Cup with the Cooke player scoring four tries in the tournament, including two in the final play off match against Scotland.

As one of Ulster's key players, the return of Downey is a welcome boost for a resurgent Ulster Women's side who have been working hard over the summer in preparation for the Inter Provincial series.

The team, announced on Thursday, features several new faces making their first appearance for Ulster and the of Downey at full back ads experience of rugby at the highest level to a youthful back line.

Speaking on her return to Ulster action, Downey said: “It's fantastic to be back training with the Ulster girls again this season. The coaches have worked hard to strengthen the squad and there is a real buzz about our sessions this summer with competition for places across the park.

“Thankfully I got in a few games at the end of last season so it won't be a complete shock after a difficult time with injuries. I know I'm going to have to be in top form with a raft of young players coming through the squad eager to get starting spot.

“There's a great feeling in the camp this year and we're starting to put together a strong side capable of giving the other Irish Provinces a few surprises!”

Ulster Women’s Squad to face Leinster (Saturday 3rd September, Ravenhill, kick-off 15.00):

(1-15) Lizzie Ballentine (Cooke) (c), Emma Lowe (Cooke), Lauren Day (Cooke), Glenda Mellon (City of Derry), Brigid Reynolds (Cavan), Gemma McCutcheon (Enniskillen), Hilary Quinn (Cavan), Nikita Armstrong (Cooke), Imogen Porter (Cooke), Grace Davitt (Cooke), Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke), Laura Nicholl (Cooke), Zoe Templeton (Belfast Harlequins), Eliza Downey (Cooke).

(16-22) Laura Feely (Sligo), Poppy Cleall (Bristol), Carloine Kelly (Cooke), Shirelle Wilson (Cooke), Larissa Muldoon (UWIC), Rachael Fleming (City of Derry), Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins)

Pricing is £6 for adults and £3 for children and is payable at the gate.

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