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West Cork quartet play their part in Munster women’s interpro championship triumph

February 1st, 2023 12:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

West Cork quartet play their part in Munster women’s interpro championship triumph Image
The Skibbereen trio of Abbie Salter-Townshend, Gillian Coombes and Enya Breen are all part of the Munster women's squad.

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FOUR West Cork players are involved in the Munster women’s team that successfully defended their Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship title.

Much like Munster’s men’s squad that has the necessary sprinkling of West Cork talent, it’s likewise for the province’s women’s squad as three Skibbereen women and an Urhan native made sure this growing rugby stronghold is represented.

Ireland internationals Enya Breen and Laura Sheehan (Urhan), Gillian Coombes and Abbie-Salter Townshend are all on the Munster women’s squad that proved, again, they are the best in the land.

Munster defeated Connacht 50-24 at the Sportsground in Galway to complete a clean sweep of wins after also beating Leinster and Ulster in the past few weeks.

Enya Breen, a key player for Ireland and Munster, has missed the last two games after a minor knock picked up in the opening weekend against Ulster. 

The good news keeps coming for Breen though as she has been named, alongside Leinster’s Hannah O’Connor, as the co-captain of the Combined Provinces XV for the inaugural Celtic Challenge campaign against teams from Scotland and Wales. The Combined Provinces XV will play WRU Development XV (Wales) and The Thistles (Scotland) twice in the weeks ahead.

Munster rugby star Gavin Coombes pictured with his sister Gillian after she made her Munster debut.
(Photo: @SkibbereenRugby)


Munster’s successful interpro campaign is memorable for all involved, and especially Gillian Coombes, who is the older sister to Munster and Ireland international Gavin. Gillian (28) made her Munster senior debut in the 34-0 opening weekend against Ulster; it was a special moment as Gavin was in Musgrave Park to watch her.

‘I didn’t start rugby until I was 22. I’m playing in Ballincollig so all the young ones are coming through and you don’t really think it’s going to be something that might happen when you’re pushing on a bit. I was delighted. It was a dream come true to be out there,’ Gillian told Sinead Kissane of the Irish Independent.

That was also the first game that Gavin has seen Regina play.

‘It was certainly different being on the other side of the barrier. But, no, it was cool to see Gillian achieve what she set out to do a few months ago. A special day not just for her but for the whole family,’ Gavin added.

There were three West Cork women on the pitch against Ulster that day as both Enya Breen and Laura Sheehan started while Gillian Coombes came on in the second half.

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