After falling to a 51-7 defeat to England last weekend, head coach Adam Grigg has replaced three players and made positional changes to try and kick start Ireland’s campaign.
Emma Hooban comes in at hooker for her first 6 Nations start, with Leah Lyons moving to tighthead and Laura Feely staying at loosehead.
Aoife McDermott and Nichola Fryday continue their partnership in the second-row. While in the back-row, Anna Caplice starts after an energetic display off the bench last weekend.
She is joined by Claire Molloy, winning her 66th cap, and captain Ciara Griffin.
There is one change in the back-line with Alison Miller starting on the wing for the first time since her horrific injury in last year’s tournament.
Her inclusion sees Megan Williams drop to the bench.
The rest of the backs are the same with Alisa Hughes at scrum-half, while Nicole Fowley starts at out-half even after a mixed performance last week.
Michelle Claffey and Sene Naoupu stay in the centre with Eimear Considine at 14 and Lauren Delany continuing at full-back.
There could be debuts off the bench for Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird and Claire Boles. The rest of the replacements stay the same.
Scotland have made two changes to their line-up from their 28-7 defeat to Italy last weekend.
Deborah McCormack comes back from injury straight into the starting XV in the second-row with Sarah Bonar moving to No 8 to replace the injured Siobhan Cattigan.
The rest of the 23 is unchanged with Scotland hoping to bounce back from that loss.
BREAKING | Your Scotland Women to face Ireland this Friday night at Scotstoun in their second @Womens6Nations match! ???????☘️ #AsOne— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 6, 2019
Get your tickets now ?️ https://t.co/jMtE08mTxJ pic.twitter.com/meayrxlpLE
Ireland head coach Adam Grigg has drawn on positives form last week’s loss to the world’s No 2 team and has called on his players to build from them.
“The game against England last week was undeniably a tough start to the Women’s Six Nations and while the final scoreline was far from ideal, there are positives we will take from that game. Our set piece was solid throughout and we were able to challenge England at times during the game,” he said.
He has also warned that the Scots will be dangerous following their loss.
“We need to build on those positives now and make improvements in other areas of our game to become more consistent and force more pressure on our opponents. Scotland will bring new challenges and we know they’re also hurting from a loss last weekend,” he added.
With Miller back in the
The game will be shown on BBC Alba & RTE 2 – KO 7.30
Ireland Team Named To Face Wales In Women’s Six Nations
Head Coach Adam Griggs has named his Ireland Match Day 23 to face Wales in Saturday’s Women’s Six Nations game in Cardiff, with Sevens international Eve Higgins set for her XVs debut in the centre and uncapped backs Emily Lane and Stacey Flood included on the replacements bench.
Ireland will be captained by Ciara Griffin in the opening game of their 2021 Championship campaign at Cardiff Arms Park (Kick-off 5pm, live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player), with Griggs’ starting XV showing three changes to the side that beat Italy at Energia Park last October.
Higgins, who has starred for Ireland on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in recent seasons, has impressed during Ireland’s preparations for the Six Nations and earns her debut cap in midfield alongside the experienced Sene Naoupu.
Sevens internationals Lane and Flood are included on the bench for their first taste of Championship action.
Eimear Considine returns to the full-back jersey as one of the three changes in personnel from the victory over Italy last time out, with Lauren Delany switching to the right wing and Beibhinn Parsons lining out on the left.
21-year-old Higgins, capped 20 times for Ireland Sevens, partners Naoupu in midfield, while the half-back pairing of Hannah Tyrrell and Kathryn Dane are retained having impressed against the Azzurri.
There is an unchanged front row named by Griggs as Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Linda Djougang once again pack down together, with the fit-again Aoife McDermott returning to the second row alongside Nichola Fryday.
Griffin leads the side from number eight, with Dorothy Wall set for her fifth cap at blindside flanker and Claire Molloy named at openside.
Uncapped duo Lane and Flood provide the half-back cover on the replacements bench, where they are joined by forwards Neve Jones, Katie O’Dwyer, Laura Feely, Brittany Hogan and Hannah O’Connor, with Enya Breen providing the additional backline cover.
Commenting on his selection, Head Coach Griggs says the competition for places within the squad has intensified in recent weeks as the squad stepped up their preparations at the IRFU High Performance Centre.
“We are extremely confident in the squad we have selected,” he said. “We have had a great deal of time to prepare together and this group of players have earned the responsibility to bring the high standards we have set ourselves throughout training into this first game.
“Wales at home will bring a strong challenge and we need to make sure we start the game well and build a platform that allows us to play our game and start this competition off with a win.”
Ireland’s opening game of the 2021 Women’s Six Nations is live on RTÉ and the RTÉ Player in the Republic of Ireland, while there is coverage on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Website for supporters in the UK.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Wales Women, 2021 Women’s Six Nations Championship Round 2, Cardiff Arms Park, Saturday, April 10, kick-off 5pm)
15. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)(15 caps)
14. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)(12)
13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)*
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)(38)
11. Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Blackrock College/Connacht)(8)
10. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(17)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)(10)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)(31)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(23)
3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(9)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)(13)
5. Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht)(15)
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/ Munster)(4)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(70)
8. Ciara Griffin (Captain)(UL Bohemian/Munster)(33)
16. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)(1)
17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster)(1)
18. Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)(16)
19. Brittany Hogan (DCU/Old Belvedere/Ulster)(1)
20. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster)(2)
21. Emily Lane (Blackrock College/Munster)*
22. Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)*
23. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/Munster)(4).
Five Uncapped Players Named In Ireland’s Women’s Six Nations Squad
All five have been capped at 7s and represented Ireland at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens. The quintet includes Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe who was the series Top Try scorer in 2019 and named in the Dream Team.
Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Emily Lane, Grace Moore and Murphy Crowe have been part of the training squad since the conclusion of the Championship back in October.
Claire Boles and Emma Hooban were also added to the squad at the same time and are named for the upcoming tournament.
Ireland will be without the experienced trio of Ciara Cooney, Edel McMahon, Claire McLaughlin and Grand Slam winner Larissa Muldoon as all four are unavailable due to injury.
A week later they are back at Energia Park to face France, with that game down for a 2:15 start.
The tournament concludes with a final round of games on April 24th determined by results over the first two rounds.
Ciara Griffin will captain the squad which also includes newcomers Katie O’Dwyer, Neve Jones and Brittany Hogan, who all made their debut against Italy last October.
Ireland head coach Adam Griggs commented: “It means a huge amount to us to have test rugby on the horizon. This group have been working very closely together over the past number of months and the Six Nations was always going to be a priority for us.
We have two more camps to fine tune things ahead of the first fixture and competition for match squad places will be high.”
Ireland Squad (Women’s Six Nations Championship 2021)
Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 4
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 15
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) 10
Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/ IQ Rugby) 12
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union/ Munster) 6
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/ Leinster) 13
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster) 12
Emily Lane (Blackrock College/Munster) *
Ellen Murphy (Blackrock College/Leinster) 7
Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster) *
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 38
Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Blackrock College/ Connacht) 8
Laura Sheehan (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby) 4
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 17
Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster) 3
Anna Caplice (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby) 14
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 9
Laura Feely (Blackrock College/ Connacht) 15
Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/ Connacht) 15
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 33
Brittany Hogan (DCU/Old Belvedere/Ulster) 1
Emma Hooban (Blackrock College/Leinster) 7
Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster) 1
Leah Lyons (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby) 25
Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster) 13
Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby) 70
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/ IQ Rugby) 23
Grace Moore (Railway Union/IQ Rugby) *
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/ Leinster) 2
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/ Leinster) 1
Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 2
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster) 31
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/ Munster) 4
* Denotes uncapped at this level
Women’s Six Nations 2021 Fixtures
Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, Saturday, April 10, 5pm
Ireland v France, Energia Parck, Saturday, April 17, 2:15pm
Women’s Rugby World Cup looks set to be postponed.
World Rugby has made the difficult decision to recommend the postponement of Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled to be hosted in New Zealand between 18 September-16 October, until next year. The recommendation will be considered by the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee on 8 and 9 March respectively.Play Video
While appreciating the recommendation is extremely disappointing for teams and fans, it has their interests at heart, and gives the tournament the best opportunity to be all it can be for them, all New Zealanders and the global rugby family.
The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 landscape. It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners including New Zealand Rugby, the New Zealand Government and participating unions, that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.
The challenges include uncertainty and the ability for teams to prepare adequately for a Rugby World Cup tournament both before and on arrival in New Zealand, and challenging global travel restrictions.
World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups.
Further updates will be issued following the Rugby World Cup Board and World Rugby Executive Committee meetings next week.