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Irish Women Ready to Take on Red Roses

Ireland and England name strong teams for 6 Nations opener on Friday

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Photo by Steve Bardens - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Ireland and England women’s teams have named their squads for Friday’s 6 Nations opener at Energia Park.

Ireland head coach Adam Griggs is without some key players due to injury and 7’s duty. Lindsay Peat and Nicole Cronin are out with shoulder/neck and an achilles injuries respectively.

While Louise Galvin, Hannah Tyrell, Beibhinn Parsons and Eve Higgins are on international 7’s duty.

Ireland start with Laura Feely, last year’s championship newcomer, Leah Lyons, and Fiona Reidy in the front row. With Aoife McDermott and Nichola Fryday pairing in the second-row for their second successive test starts together.

There is a 6 Nations debut for Juliet Short at No 6, and she is partnered by Claire Molloy, and captain Ciara Griffin in the back-row.

Ailsa Hughes is at scrum-half, with Nicole Fowley coming in for her championship debut. Michelle Claffey and Leinster star Sene Naoupu are in the centre, with a back three of Megan Williams, Eimear Considine and tournament debutant Lauren Delany.

On the bench, there are three players set to make their debuts, Linda Djougang, Anne-Marie O’Hora, and Kathryn Dane. There is a welcome return for winger Ali Millar who suffered a horror ankle injury in the last year Championship.  Ulster’s Claire McClaughlin who featured in last years tournament as a centre/wing continues her shift into the pack and will cover the back-row along with Anna Caplice.

Griggs is looking forward to the challenge his side will face against one of the world’s best.

“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,” he said.

Adding that he believes his side have what it takes to beat lasts seasons runners-up.

“We have had good preparations leading into this Friday’s opening match of the tournament, and we’re looking for a strong performance to get the Championship started in front of what we hope will be an amazing crowd in Donnybrook,” he said.

On the opposition side, there is a huge amount of experience, lead by 108 capped captain Sarah Hunter.

Hannah Botterman, Lark Davies, and Sarah Bern are in the front-row. While Catherine O’Donnell and Poppy Cleall are in playing at four and five, with Cleall’s twin sister Bryony set to make her debut off the bench.

The back-three consists of Sarah Beckett, Marlie Packer, and captain Sarah Hunter. With Leanne Riley and Katy Daley-Mclean playing in the half-backs.

Tatyana Heard and Emily Scarrett partner each other at 12 and 13. With Kelly Smith, Jess Breach, and Sarah McKenna making up the back three.

England head coach Simon Middleton is missing a few players but is using the opportunity to test out some new talent.

“We are looking forward to getting our Six Nations campaign underway and implementing some of the things we have been working on since the Quilter Internationals,” he said.


“This first game has come a week too soon for a couple of players but this gives us an opportunity to test others, and there were some tough calls over positions. Selection has been based on recent form,” he added.

Ireland will be looking for revenge over the Red Roses for their 37-15 defeat in November, with both teams hoping to kick-start their 6 Nations with a win.

The match will be shown live on both Sky Sports and RTE 2

Womens Rugby

Ireland Team Named To Face Wales In Women’s Six Nations

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IRFU

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 Women’s Rugby Podcast – Listen Now

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 PeatCliodhna 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 JonesKatie O’DwyerLaura FeelyBrittany 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)

Replacements:

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).

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Womens Rugby

Five Uncapped Players Named In Ireland’s Women’s Six Nations Squad

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ireland coaching group have included five uncapped players in a squad  of 35 for the upcoming Women’s Six Nations Championship.

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.

Dates and kick off times for the Championship were confirmed today by Six Nations Rugby. Ireland start their campaign away to Wales on April 10th with a 5pm kick off.

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)

Player/Club/Province/Caps

Backs (16):

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

Forwards (19):

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

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Rugby World Cup

Women’s Rugby World Cup looks set to be postponed.

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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.  

Statement Ends.

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