The IRFU today announced that the first ever Women’s RBS 6 Nations fixture to be staged at the Aviva Stadium will take place on Saturday, March 8, 2014 as part of an RBS 6 Nations ‘Super Saturday’ double header as the men and women’s teams take on their Italian counterparts.
The historic match was confirmed as an extended squad of 33 players was announced by the Ireland Women’s management team as they prepare for their defense of their RBS 6 Nations title.
The selected squad includes a number of seasoned internationals alongside some new faces who have emerged this season.
Kick-off times and ticketing information for the Ireland v Italy Women’s RBS 6 Nations fixture, which will take place after the men’s game, will be announced in early 2014 after it is confirmed to rugby clubs.
Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle said: “Selecting a squad is always hard and this year has to be without doubt the hardest yet.
“Selection has been based on the players form throughout the AIL matches, including the English Premiership matches where a lot of the Exiles players are playing their rugby, and the Interpro Series which concluded last weekend.
“Some new faces have made this year’s squad which is always a good sign that the competition and standards are rising still.
“We look forward to working with all the players in the coming weeks in preparation for this year’s RBS 6 Nations where, of course, we will be doing our very best to defend our title, at the same time making sure that we also use these very important games to very good use with the 2014 World Cup looming very large in the not so distance future.
“Playing at the Aviva Stadium is sure to be one of hopefully many highlights of the 2014 campaign and I know that the team will do their very best to give the Aviva crowd a great display of women’s rugby.”
Ireland open their campaign with a home fixture against Scotland on Friday, January 31 at Ashbourne RFC.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Training Squad (2014 Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship):
Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile)
Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile) *
Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster)
Kerri-Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile) *
Amy Davis (Blackrock/Ulster)
Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster)
Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
Orla Fitzsimmons (St. Mary’s/Leinster) *
Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Ashling Hutchings (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
Jemma Jackson (Queen’s University/Ulster) *
Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster)
Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Vikki McGinn (Blackrock/Leinster) *
Alison Miller (Portlaoise/UCC/Connacht)
Sarah Mimnagh (Richmond/Exile) *
Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile)
Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster)
Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht)
Geraldine Rea (Highfield/Munster)
Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile)
Juliet Short (Newcastle/Exile) *
Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
* Denotes uncapped player