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6 Nations

McWilliams Names Ireland Team For Second Test Against Japan

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Head Coach Greg McWilliams has named his Ireland team, sponsored by Aon, for Saturday’s second Test against Japan at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo (kick-off 7pm local time/11am Irish time, live on TG4).

Six uncapped players impressed during last weekend’s memorable first Test win in Shizuoka, and with a number of players unavailable this week through injury, McWilliams and the Ireland coaching team have another opportunity to test squad depth and build further Test match experience within the group.

Related News: Japan Tour Diary

There are three changes in personnel to the Ireland starting team from the nine-try victory at Ecopa Stadium, with Dorothy Wall and Sam Monaghan unavailable for selection due to injury, while Christy Haney and Nicole Cronin, who both came off the bench last week, are also ruled out.

Back row Jo Brown has been named to make her debut against the Sakura Fifteen, while Jess Keating and Emma Tilly are in line to win their first caps off the bench.

McWilliams has named an unchanged backline for Saturday’s clash against Lesley McKenzie’s side, with Méabh Deely, Natasja Behan and Aoife Doyle continuing in the back three. Aoife Dalton, who marked her debut with a try last week, partners Enya Breen in midfield and Dannah O’Brien and Ailsa Hughes are the half backs.

In the pack, Laura Feely starts at loosehead, Neve Jones is at hooker and Linda Djougang is at tighthead. Monaghan’s absence means Hannah O’Connor switches from the back row to the second row, where she partners captain Nichola Fryday.

Brown starts at blindside flanker, Edel McMahon continues at openside and Grace Moore makes her first Ireland start at number eight.

On the bench, Emma Hooban, Chloe Pearse and Katie O’Dwyer provide the front row reinforcements, with Taryn Schutzler and the uncapped Keating, who has been playing in America with Life University, completing the forward options available to McWilliams.

Aoife Dalton scores a try on her Ireland debut

Aoife Dalton scores a try on her Ireland debut

Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Leah Tarpey and Tilly, a member of the Women’s National Talent Squad (WNTS), complete the Ireland 23.

Commenting ahead of the game, McWilliams said: “We were really pleased with last weekend’s victory and it was a reward for the hard work the whole group have put in over the course of the summer programme, but the focus for us has been on improving, growing and being better on Saturday.

“This week has been a test of our resilience as there is no doubt the first Test took a huge amount out of the group, and as we go on this journey together we’ll learn a lot about the demands of Test match rugby. We’ve already grown hugely over the course of this Tour and we’re excited about the team selected for this weekend.

“It is a great chance for us to explore our depth further and give players the opportunity they deserve for their hard work and commitment and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform in the green jersey.”

Saturday’s match is live on TG4 from 10.40am Irish time, while there will be extensive match day coverage on IrishRugby.ie and across Irish Rugby social media channels.

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Japan Women, 2022 Summer Tour Second Test, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo, Saturday, August 27, kick-off 7pm local time/11am Irish time):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)(1)
14. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(1)
13. Aoife Dalton (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)(1)
12. Enya Breen (TBC/Munster)(15)
11. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster)(11)
10. Dannah O’Brien (Tullow RFC/Leinster)(1)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(15)

1. Laura Feely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)(23)
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster)(12)
3. Linda Djougang (TBC/Leinster)(23)
4. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(13)
5. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (capt)(28)
6. Jo Brown (Worcester Warriors/IQ Rugby)*
7. Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)(20)
8. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)(4)

Replacements:

16. Emma Hooban (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(12)
17. Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(6)
18. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(11)
19. Taryn Schutzler (Saracens/Ulster)(1)
20. Jess Keating (Life University/Leinster)*
21. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(3)
22. Leah Tarpey (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)(1)
23. Emma Tilly (MU Barnhall RFC/Leinster)*

* Denotes uncapped player

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


6 Nations

Stewart Joins Ireland Squad In Portugal As Wales Prep Intensifies

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Ulster hooker Tom Stewart has joined the Ireland squad in Quinta do Lago to provide additional cover following a hamstring issue picked up by Ronan Kelleher. Kelleher will be managed by the Ireland Medical team over the coming days.

The uncapped Stewart is a former Ireland U20 international who played twice for Emerging Ireland in the Autumn, starting in the victories over the Griquas and the Cheetahs. The Ireland coaching group also included him in the match day preparations for the Ireland ‘A’ game against the All Blacks XV in November.

Stewart’s addition brings the number of Emerging Ireland tourists in the Senior squad to five – Jack Crowley, Joe McCarthy, Jamie Osborne and Cian Prendergast.

The squad will continue to train at The Campus in Quinta do Lago this week before flying to Cardiff on Thursday ahead of the opening round of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Ireland Squad, 2023 Guinness Six Nations:

Backs (17)

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 7 caps
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas)*
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 109 caps (c)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (20)

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 caps
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch)*
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 caps

*denotes uncapped player

2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures

Wales v IRELAND
Saturday 4th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
VIRGIN / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

IRELAND v France
Saturday 11th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radi0

Italy v IRELAND
Saturday 25th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Scotland v IRELAND
Sunday 12th March 2023, KO 15:00 (IST)
RTE TV / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radi0

IRELAND v England
Saturday 18th March 2023, KO 17:00 (IST)
VIRGIN / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

RTÉ And Virgin Media Confirm Details Of Free-To-Air Six Nations Coverage

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RTÉ and Virgin Media Television today announced details of its joint Guinness Six Nations coverage, where the action will be free-to-air for supporters in the Republic of Ireland.

Kicking off on Friday, 3 February, this year’s Six Nations coverage will include all fixtures from Ireland’s Men’s, Women’s and U20 tournaments.

The partnership will see all games equally aired across both broadcasters again this year.

The 2023 Men’s Six Nations will open with Ireland v Wales on Virgin Media One, followed by England v Scotland on RTÉ2. Ireland will then take on current champions France on Saturday, 11 February.

The TikTok Women’s Six Nations will begin on Sunday, 26 March with Wales v Ireland.

Speaking at this morning’s launch at the Aviva Stadium, presenters Jacqui Hurley and Joe Molloy were joined on stage by members of their broadcast teams this year including pundits Rob Kearney, Fiona Hayes (Virgin Media Television), and RTÉ’s Jamie Heaslip and Hannah Tyrrell.

RTÉ also confirmed that Irish international and Munster player Simon Zebo will be joining their punditry team.

Commenting, Head of RTÉ Sport, Declan McBennett said: “With this being a great year for rugby, there is added excitement about this year’s Six Nations which RTÉ is once again bringing to sports fans all over the country free-to-air along with Virgin Media Ireland as part of our historic partnership which we launched last year.

“It’s going to be a huge year for Irish rugby and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Ireland Squad Named For 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship

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The Ireland Coaching Team have named a 37-man squad for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations Championship, which kicks off with an away trip to Cardiff to face Wales on Saturday, 4th February.

In Round 2, Ireland host France at Aviva Stadium looking to secure their first victory over Fabien Galthie’s side since 2019.  There was just six points between the two sides last year in Paris and France emerged the victors when they last faced off in Dublin the previous year, winning 15-13.

In Round 3, Ireland travel to Rome to face a resurgent Italy who have recorded wins over Australia and Wales in the past year.

Round 4 sees Andy Farrell’s side travel to BT Murrayfield to face Gregor Townsend’s Scotland and six days later, in the final game of the Championship, Ireland play host to England at Aviva Stadium.

Both of Ireland’s home games against France and England are sold out and all of Ireland’s fixtures will be broadcast live on free-to-air television and radio across RTE, VIRGIN, BBC, ITV, RTE Radio and BBC NI Radio.

Ireland finished second to France in last year’s Championship with four wins and five bonus points for a total of 21 points, claiming the Triple Crown for the first time since 2018.

There is one uncapped player named in the squad, Leinster’s Jamie Osborne. Osborne was first integrated into the Senior squad in November 2021 as a Development Player and has since featured for Emerging Ireland and Ireland A.

Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell commented: “The Six Nations is a huge competition for us and another opportunity for us to grow as group. 2022 was a busy year as we got to work with a larger group of players as we continued to build our squad depth and competition for places.

While there are a few players carrying knocks and others that have missed out on selection for the start of the tournament, they will have the opportunity to push their case playing for their provinces in the URC over the coming weeks as no doubt we will need to call upon the wider group as the tournament progresses.”

Ireland Squad, 2023 Guinness Six Nations:

Backs (17):

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 7 caps
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas) *
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(captain) 109 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (20):

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 caps
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 cap

*denotes uncapped player

2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures:

Wales v IRELAND
Saturday 4th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
VIRGIN / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

IRELAND v France
Saturday 11th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Italy v IRELAND
Saturday 25th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Scotland v IRELAND
Sunday 12th March 2023, KO 15:00 (IST)
RTE TV / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

IRELAND v England
Saturday 18th March 2023, KO 17:00 (IST)
VIRGIN / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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