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Irish season well underway

Ireland's Fiona Coghlan has been capped 48 times and has been the side’s vice-captain for five seasons. She is a regular blogger for this site.

Just two months into a pivotal season and we are well into our club and provincial games in Ireland.

After two Interprovincial games, Munster sit at the top of the table with two wins, followed closely by the team I play for, Leinster, and then Connacht, both of us with one win each.

Both teams will be looking for a win in their next game to earn them a spot in the Interprovincial final at the end of November.

Training has been going well but it is really hectic at this time of year. Between club training, Interprovincial training, gym and conditioning sessions - oh and dont forget the day job - there isnt time for much else.

The gym and conditioning work is definitely paying off, as I am recovering quicker after games and Im not getting as many niggles as I would at this stage of the season. The Irish squad was fitness tested again at the end of September and there was an improvement across the board, which shows people are putting in the work. We have only met as a preliminary squad for fitness testing and the actual squad will not be decided until after the Interprovincials, which gives the new Irish coach a chance to see the top 60 players in the country in action.

A new head coach has been appointed to the Irish womens team with Kevin West joining the setup. Kevin is new to the womens game but he has a wealth of experience in coaching having spent many years coaching in the All Ireland League (mens). Having a new coach means players are trying to impress and as a result the standard rises. Also a new coach brings new ideas, which will keep things fresh and players on their toes. With Kevins experience and the squads desire to get better, it is full steam ahead towards the Six Nations and World Cup.

As if all the training for rugby isnt enough for some of the girls, three of the squad have been participating in Olympic Weightlifting Competitions. Shannon Houston, Sinead Ryan and Amy Davis recently participated in the Munster Open but they didnt stop there, they went on to break the National record in clean and jerk. The girls have taken very quickly to the sport and we are sure to see them featuring again.

I suppose the talk of the past month has been the inclusion of Sevens Rugby in the 2016 Olympics. Oh how I wish I was a few years younger and a tad faster too. I think it is going to be absolutely brilliant for the exposure and growth of the game. It will also open up rugby to far more nations which in turn will bring larger participant numbers.

As November rolls in, there are a lot of International games taking place. The pick of these is a repeat of the World Cup final between England and New Zealand; it will be a super game. New Zealand are a team that I have never had the pleasure of playing against but they are definitely a team I would love to get the chance to play at some stage.

Images credit: Inpho