Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle has named an extended squad of 34 players for the first training camp of the new international season.
The squad features many of the players who helped Ireland to their highest ever finish of seventh at the Women’s Rugby World Cup earlier this year, while there are also some new faces included.
Last season’s captain Fiona Coghlan and Ireland’s most-capped Women’s player Lynne Cantwell are among a host of experienced players named in the squad.
Four players are unavailable through injury. Scrum half Tania Rosser is continuing her rehab from the injury she picked up at the World Cup, while fellow backs Eliza Downey, Shannon Houston and Alison Miller are also ruled out at this stage.
Prop Lauren Day, who missed out on the World Cup when she picked up an injury in training, returns to the squad and the newcomers include Stacey Lee Kennedy, Jean Moore and Larissa Muldoon.
Many of those selected will be in action this weekend as Leinster and Munster square off in the rescheduled IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship final at Donnybrook this Saturday (kick-off 1pm).
Meanwhile, the Ireland backroom team sees the addition of Keith Murphy as assistant coach, while Greg McWilliams will join the management during the preparations for the 2011 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Squad (December Training Camp):
Gillian Bourke (Bristol/Munster)
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile)
Emma Cleary (UL Bohemians/Connacht)
Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster)
Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster)
Lauren Day (Waterloo/Ulster)
Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
Ashling Hutchings (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Helen Jones (Highfield/Munster)
Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Mairead Kelly (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stacey Lee Kennedy (City of Derry/Ulster)
Emer McManamly (Blackrock/Leinster)
Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
Jean Moore (Portlaoise/Connacht)
Larissa Muldoon (Exile)
Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Gill Nolan (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Deirdre O’Brien (Blackrock/Leinster)
Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster)
Imogen Porter (Cooke/Ulster)
Clare Raftery (Galwegians/Connacht)
Geraldine Rea (Highfield/Munster)
Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Michelle Ross (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Kate Sheehan (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile)
Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Carol Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht)
Ailish Toner (Young Munster/Connacht)
Ireland Women’s Team Management –
Philip Doyle – Coach
Keith Murphy – Assistant Coach
Rachel Reid – Team Manager
Ross Callaghan – Strength & Conditioning Coach
Brian Roantree – Team Assistant
Jessica O’Riordan -Team Doctor
Ulrik McCarthy Persson – Team Physio
Dominic Hoban – Team Physio 2
Len Browne – Team Analyst
Jessica O’Brien – Team Co-ordinator