New Ireland Women’s coach John O’Sullivan has named his squad for the Six Nations opener against Wales. The panel of 22 players includes two new caps in Blackrock back rower Debbie Clarke and Ulster hooker Jess Limbert.
In the backs division there are no real surprises – Tania Rosser and Louise Beamish are the two scrum halves in the squad while Sarahjane Belton, Ireland’s only member of the World Cup All-Star team, looks certain to continue in the number 10 role.
No real back-up out-half has been picked, although Joanne O’Sullivan has already played there at international level.
Cobh-born coach O’Sullivan, whose first game in charge is against the Welsh at Taffs Well RFC in Cardiff on Saturday, February 3, has named a strong pack with the 12 selected players having amassed 170 international caps between them.
A final training camp is scheduled to take place this weekend before the starting line-up is announced.
Ireland have not played a Test match since their final game at the 2006 Women’s World Cup against Australia last September.
IRELAND WOMEN’S SQUAD (v Wales, Saturday, February 3, Taffs Well RFC, Cardiff (kick-off 2.30pm):
Backs: Louise Beamish (UL Bohemians), Sarahjane Belton (UL Bohemians), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond), Grace Davitt (Blackrock), Jeanette Feighery (UL Bohemians), Amanda Greensmith (Shannon), Shannon Houston (Blackrock), Mairead Kelly (UL Bohemians), Joanne O’Sullivan (Richmond), Tania Rosser (Blackrock)
Forwards: Marie Barrett (Highfield), Rachel Boyd (Cooke), Orla Brennan (Blackrock), Debbie Clarke (Blackrock), Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians), Laura Guest (Clonakilty), Germaine Healy (Rathdrum), Jess Limbert (Cooke), Caroline Mahon (UL Bohemians), Yvonne Nolan (Blackrock), Eimear O’Sullivan (Clonakilty), Sinead Ryan (Navan)
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