A host of Six Nations players are ready to throw down the gauntlet as both the Tyrells Premier 15s and All-Ireland League seasons reach their climax.
A repeat of last year’s Tyrells Premier 15s final will see Saracens face-off against Harlequins at Franklin’s Gardens as the former look to defend their title.
Both sides won the respective home fixtures over their opponents during the domestic league season by a slender three-point margin and so fans watching the final can expect to see a closely-fought game.
And Saracens will retain nine of their players who started in last year’s final in their starting line-up including an experienced all-international backline with Sarah McKenna, Sydney Gregson and captain Lotte Clapp linking up again in the back three.
“The performances have increased time on time and we’re getting better as a team”
— Saracens Women (@SaracensWomen) 27 April 2019
Meanwhile England’s Zoe Harrison will start as fly-half having shared the kicking duties with Katy Daley-Mclean during this year’s Championship.
No.8 and Grand Slam-winner Poppy Cleall will bolster the pack while Clapp will extended her impressive run of playing in every Tyrells Premier 15s game for Saracens since the league’s inception in 2017.
Challengers Harlequins are led by England’s Grand Slam-winning centre Rachael Burford and will line up with top try scorer from the Championship Jess Breach in their ranks.
Forwards Vickii Cornborough and Abbie Scott were both included in the Red Roses’ squad while Ireland front-row Leah Lyons returns to the matchday squad for the first time since she suffered an injury at this year’s Championship.
And in Ireland, title holders UL Bohemians will meet first-time All-Ireland League finalists Railway Union at Energia Park.
🗣️ “We want to show what elite women’s rugby is all about and put our best foot forward on Saturday”
— Harlequins Ladies 🃏 (@HarlequinsWomen) 23 April 2019
Defending champions UL Bohemians are on track for a record 14th title, and a league and cup double, but will miss the likes of Ireland captain Ciara Griffin and Nicole Cronin for the final through injury.
Six of Saturday’s finalists have played international rugby in 2019, including Railway’s Aoife McDermott, who played every minute of Ireland’s Women’s Six Nations campaign.
And loosehead prop Lindsay Peat, who returned from a neck injury to feature in the last three games of the Championship, will play at No.8.
UL Bohemian’s Eimear Considine was another ever-present during Ireland’s 2019 Women’s Six Nations campaign while Fiona Reidy played in all five games, making three starts in the front row.
The Limerick side will also have the added benefit of Niamh Briggs in their team – the top scorer in the Women’s All-Ireland League this season with 90 points.