AIL Division One clubs Cooke and Queen's provide 12 players in the Ulster Women's starting XV for the first inter-provincial clash of the season against Leinster at Portadown on Saturday (3.00pm).
Cooke have a total of seven girls in the line-up including the front row of Ilse van Staden, captain Lesley Megarity and Nikita Armstrong and the back three of Grace Davitt, Amy Davis and Teah Maguire.
Their other player is the speedy Eliza Downey on the wing. Queen's supply three forwards - Colette Broome, who joins Omagh's formidable Naomi McCullagh in the second row, and Imogen Porter and Lauren Magennes are in the back row with Old Belvedere's Niamh Fitzgerald.
The other Queen's players are centre Clare McLaughlin and out-half Jemma Jackson, who will link with promising scrum-half Kathryn Dane. Dane played for the Irish Under-18s Sevens and contributed massively in the successes of Enniskillen Collegiate in the Schools' Cup in recent seasons.
This team is a blend of youth and experience with emphasis on the former. The future is very promising, as proven by the fact that the Under-18s won all their inter-pros last year, but this squad will face a difficult challenge against a talented Leinster side.
Jamie Love, Shannon Heapes, Stacey Sloan (all City of Derry), Zoe Templeton, Peita McAlister (both Queen's), Sorcha Chipperfield (Cooke), Amy O'Neill (Blackrock) and Noreen Netherott (Enniskillen) make up the replacements.
The World Cup hopes of Darren Cave, Dan Tuohy and Craig Gilroy are hanging by a thread as all three have been released from Ireland’s extended squad to play for Ulster in tonight’s opening pre-season friendly with Leinster at the Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).
The first game of any campaign can often not come soon enough for players tiring of the monotony of pre-season but Ulster's new signing Sam Windsor has extra incentive to look forward to tonight's friendly with Leinster at the Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).