Michelle Claffey endured a disappointing end to last season when she suffered an ankle injury in Ireland’s Six Nations clash against Italy.

The Leinster Rugby and Ireland centre underwent surgery earlier this year to rectify the issue and, since then, has been looking forward to a new campaign and a new Interprovincial series.

“The 17th of August is a number that has been emblazoned on my brain for a long time. It’s kind of what I was aiming for to get back to match fit,” she says.

Michelle Claffey

“I had surgery at the start of March so it’s been a long road to recovery and rehab and hard work. It’s really hard! I still haven’t lost the passion for the game and it’s just another injury to tick off the list.”

With that injury forcing her into the stands for Ireland’s second home game of that Six Nations campaign, she became more aware of the influence of the crowd.

And now, she’s hoping that the same atmosphere can be recreated for the upcoming doubleheader at Energia Park.

Michelle Claffey

The day will begin with Leinster Men’s team facing Coventry in a Bank of Ireland Pre-season Friendly (KO 3pm) followed by Leinster’s opening game of the 2019 Women’s Interprovincial Championship against Connacht (KO 5.30pm).

“It’s going to be a great display of women’s rugby here in Donnybrook. We can show what we have for the crowd that’s going to be here.

“We’ll have our friends, our family, our usual supporters and the men’s supporters can hang around and see how good we actually are as well,” adds Claffey.

“It’s just incredible the amount of noise and support and genuine want for the team on the pitch to do really well. I would definitely encourage anyone to come down to Donnybrook on the 17th to see two very good displays of rugby.”

See two games with one ticket at the Energia Park doubleheader on Saturday, 17th August! Tickets are available from €10.