12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
On paper, a home tie against Italy could not be a better RBS Women's 6 Nations opener for Ireland as their opponents have struggled in the competition since joining in 2007 , egistering just one win over Scotland so far.
However the Italians gave Ireland a tough game last season before the Irish women pulled away to win 35-17.
"With Italy you don't know from one year to the other what their game plan will be because they're further away, without much press and without a lot of news about their club games. They are the unknown," Coghlan said, ahead of Friday week's clash at Ashbourne RFC (7.30pm).
"If you're going on past games, it's a nice one but last year they were beating us in the second half so we can't afford to write them off.
"We gave ourselves a scare in that game and they put it up to us so we can't afford to write them or any team off in this competition."
Ireland's preparations for the RBS Women's 6 Nations this year were hampered by the poor recent weather conditions, but their new skipper is hoping it does not impact on performances.
"Obviously we were a little bit affected by the bad weather, no more than anyone else, but we've had a good few sessions so it's coming along well.
"We played Scotland before Christmas with a good win where we got to see a few new players so that has helped," added Coghlan.
The game of the opening Women's weekend will undoubtedly be the clash at Esher where current Triple Crown champions Wales take on the reigning Six Nations champions England.
Related Links -
Ashbourne RFC - click here for information and directions to Ashbourne RFC, home of the Ireland Women's squad for the RBS Women's 6 Nations.
Article reproduced by permission from www.scrumqueens.com