Speaking at the announcement of the sponsorship deal, Response Engineering Group Director Sean Murphy said "Munster are the current inter-provincial champions and we hope that our involvement will help them retain the coveted title in the 2007/8 season.Â We see our support for the team as a perfect fit for Response, as both groupsâ00 strive for excellence, one on the field of play and the other in the field of business.â0Â He added that they see womenâ00s rugby as an emerging force in Irish Sport, increasing in popularity all the time- particularly since the performance of the Irish womenâ00s team in the World Cup in Canada last year where the Irish team finished in the top eight teams in the world.
Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald welcomed the linking up of Response Engineering Group with the Munster Senior Womenâ00s representative team: â00We are delighted to be associated with such a successful Munster based company who lead the field in their area.Â Uniting one of our most successful representative teams with a company of such calibre as Response Engineering is an indication of the steady growth in the womenâ00s game in the province and we thank Response Engineering for their support.â0Â
The Response Group is one of the foremost Irish concerns engaged in the designing, building and operating of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants and recently acquired the Carlow based CSL, which specialises in utility operations and maintenance in the water and waste water treatment sector.Â
The Munster womenâ00s team has been the dominant force in inter-provincial rugby over the last decade, winning all but one of their inter-provincial campaigns.Â Of the twenty six strong World Cup squad of 2006, eleven of those were from Munster, and nine of those players are currently training with the Munster Womenâ00s squad.Â
Under the new coaching partnership of Donal O'Driscoll (Ballincollig) and Fiona Steed (Irelandâ00s most capped female player), the Munster Womenâ00s team have been back at training since late July, with a training squad of 34 currently being put through their paces at Fermoy RFCâ00s excellent facilities.Â These 34 were chosen from two open sessions, with eight Munster clubs now represented, including Clonmel, Shannon, Waterpark, U.L. Bohemians, Nenagh Ormond, Clonakilty, Highfield and Clanwilliam.
Included in the training squad is last yearâ00s Munster Womenâ00s Player of the Year Paula Oâ00Connor, as well as nineteen year old Nicole Fitzgerald who picked up her first Irish cap at the Six Nations earlier this year.Â The side also includes two inter-county footballers- Niamh Briggs (Waterford) and Mairead Kelly (Cork).
The Munster Womenâ00s team kick off their defence of their inter-provincial crown on Saturday September 8th against Ulster, and face last yearâ00s beaten finalists Leinster on Saturday September 29th.Â