Ireland Women’s head coach Adam Griggs has named a 25-strong squad for Sunday’s Six Nations warm-up match against Wales at the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach (kick-off 1pm).
There are seven uncapped players named in the squad to travel to Caerphilly, including Galwegians duo Laura Feely and Edel McMahon, and Railway Union second row Aoife McDermott, in the forward ranks.
In the backs, Blackrock centre Michelle Claffey, Old Belvedere’s Megan Williams, Railway Union’s Susan Vaughan and the UK-based Annette Tomas of Abbey Ladies will all be looking to impress ahead of the Women’s Six Nations opener against France.
The side will be led for the first time by UL Bohemians and Munster flanker Ciara Griffin, whose appointment as Ireland’s new captain was made earlier this week as the countdown continues to the start of the 2018 Championship next month.
Speaking ahead of the warm-up clash with Wales, Ireland head coach Adam Griggs said: “We’ve had some very productive camps since I started with the team. and the trip to Wales this weekend will give us the chance to test out new combinations and look at some of the key areas the players have been working on.
“There’s a number of uncapped players included who have impressed in the interprovincial games before Christmas and during our recent camps, so I’m looking forward to seeing them test themselves at international level and hopefully giving me some selection headaches over the coming weeks.
“We have also allowed a few players this weekend off to recover from some minor knocks that they’ve picked up over the course of camps and during the tough interpros, but we expect to have them all available for selection for the opening Women’s Six Nations game against France in Toulouse in just over two weeks’ time.”
Tickets for the Wales v Ireland warm-up fixture are available on the gate at the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach, priced at £5. Ireland get their Six Nations campaign underway against France on Saturday, February 3, in Toulouse. They will then play Italy, Wales and Scotland at home in Donnybrook before meeting England in their final game at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Squad (Six Nations Warm-Up Fixture v Wales Women, CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly, Sunday, January 21, kick-off 1pm):
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster) *
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster)
Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster)
Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Annette Tomas (Abbey Ladies/IQ Rugby) *
Susan Vaughan (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Elaine Anthony (Highfield/Munster)
Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht) *
Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt)
Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Edel McMahon ((Galwegians/Connacht) *
Claire Molloy (Bristol)
Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster)
Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht)
Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Ilse van Staden (Cooke/Ulster)
* Denotes uncapped player
IRELAND WOMEN – 2018 SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES:
France Women v Ireland Women, Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, Saturday, February 3, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time – Buy Match Tickets
Ireland Women v Italy Women, Donnybrook, Sunday, February 11, 1pm – Buy Match Tickets
Ireland Women v Wales Women, Donnybrook, Sunday, February 25, 3pm – Buy Match Tickets
Ireland Women v Scotland Women, Donnybrook, Sunday, March 11, 1pm – Buy Match Tickets
England Women v Ireland Women, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Friday, March 16, 5.30pm – Buy Match Tickets