Dr Claire Molloy returns from sabbatical to boost Ireland's Six Nations hopes
One of the finest women's players to wear the green jersey is coming back.
Former Ireland captain Claire Molloy will rejoin the senior squad, next month, as Adam Griggs' side finish out their delayed Six Nations campaign against Italy and France.
Molloy, who works as an accident and emergency doctor in Cardiff, took a sabbatical from the Ireland set-up last year so she could focus on her medical career. She informed Griggs that she was ready to return and has been included in a 34-player squad for the two games.
Molloy will link up with Griggs and his squad at the IRFU High Performance Centre this weekend. They will face Italy in Dublin on October 25 before heading to France for the final game of the championship. They are currently third in the table.
Having the 69-times capped Molloy available again is a huge fillip for Ireland especially with forwards Edel McMahon, Claire McLaughlin and Aoife McDermott already ruled out through through injury. Griggs says:
"While it’s an unfortunate setback and timing for Edel, Aoife and Claire, they are all highly motivated and diligent players who I know will get stuck into the rehab and get themselves back fit and in contention for the World Cup Qualifiers.
"The squad have made major strides over the last year and there is healthy competition for places. Each two-day camp now gives us an opportunity to focus on lifting our intensity and the quality of our training, where we will challenge the players to replicate match like demands so that come the end of October we are ready to perform and keep the standards we set out at the start of this competition."
IRELAND WOMEN'S SQUAD
Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/ IQ Rugby)
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union/ Munster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire Keohane (Railway Union/ Munster)
Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Ellen Murphy (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Beibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College/ Connacht)
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Shannon Touhey (Suttonians/ Connacht)*
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Judy Bobbett (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Anna Caplice (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby)
Ciara Cooney (Wasps / IQ Rugby)
Victoria Dabanovich O’Mahony (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Laura Feely (Blackrock College/ Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/ Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)*
Leah Lyons (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby)
Claire Molloy (Wasps / IQ Rugby)
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/ IQ Rugby)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/ Leinster)*
Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/ Munster).