Irish women's team named for Six Nations opener with England
Ireland women's head coach Adam Griggs has named his side for their Six Nations opener with England in Donnybrook on Friday night.
Munster number eight Ciara Griffin will captain the side from the back-row alongside Wasps flanker Claire Molloy and Leinster blindside Juliet Short while hooker Leah Lyons, props Laura Feely and Fiona Reidy and locks Aoife McDermott and Nichola Fryday round out the tight five.
Meanwhile in the backs Alisa Hughes and Nicole Fowley will join each other in the halves with Sene Naoupu and Michelle Claffey named in the centres.
Lauren Delaneywill start at full back with Eimear Considine and Megan Williams on the wings while Linda Djougang, Anne Marie O’Hora and Kathryn Dane are the three uncapped players named among the replacements.
Speaking ahead of the first test, coach Griggs said:
"There’s no bigger challenge than to open the Six Nations against England, they are second in the world for a reason and are a very good side who challenge you in every part of the game.
"We had a good test against them in November and while we didn’t get the result, we showed some of the standards and improvements that are required to compete at this level which was a huge positive for us.
"We have had good preparations leading into this Friday and are looking for a strong performance to get the championship started in front of what we hope will be an amazing crowd behind us."
Ireland Women’s Team v England Women (Friday 1st February 2019, Women’s Six Nations. Energia Park, Donnybrook – Kick-off 17.00hrs)
15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
12. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
11. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
2. Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
6. Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) Capt
16. Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
17. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
18. Anne Marie O’Hora (Galwegians/ Connacht) *
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
21. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) *
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
23. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
*Denotes Uncapped player at this level
Ireland Women's Team – Women's Six Nations 2019 Fixtures:
Friday 1 February: Ireland v England, Donnybrook, 5pm
Friday 8 February: Scotland v Ireland, Scotstoun, 7.35pm
Saturday 23 February: Italy v Ireland, Parma, 6.30pm
Saturday 9 March: Ireland v France, Donnybrook, 7pm
Sunday 17 March: Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30pm