Head Coach Greg McWilliams has named a 38-player Ireland squad for the upcoming TikTok Women’s Six Nations, as preparations for the 2022 Championship get underway with a first National Team camp at the IRFU High Performance Centre this weekend.
Following an initial Screening Camp and last weekend’s Energia All-Ireland League Women’s Finals Day, McWilliams has selected an exciting group of players, blending youth and international experience as Ireland build towards their Six Nations opener against Wales at the RDS on Saturday, 26th March (Kick-off 4.45pm, tickets available here).
There are nine uncapped players included in the squad, with forwards Christy Haney, Amanda McQuade, Anna McGann, Aoife Wafer, Emma Murphy and backs Aoibheann Reilly, Natasja Behan, Molly Scuffil-McCabe and Vicky Irwin all impressing McWilliams with their recent form in club rugby.
Strengthening the links between the domestic game and the High Performance programme, McWilliams has been a keen observer of the Energia AIL in recent weeks, culminating in last weekend’s thrilling final between Railway Union and Blackrock College at Energia Park.
Ireland open their Six Nations campaign against Wales, before travelling to France in Round 2 on Saturday, April 2.
McWilliams’ side will play their second home game of the Championship against Italy at Musgrave Park in Cork on Sunday, April 10 (Kick-off 5pm).
The penultimate weekend sees Ireland travel to face England on Sunday, April 24, before their final home match, against Scotland, is staged at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday, April 30 (Kick-off 8pm).
Commenting on his squad announcement, McWilliams said: “I am really pleased with the balance of the squad, there is great youth and experience and I have been impressed by the form of these players in recent weeks.
“We have selected players that have the ability to go for long periods of high intensity ball in play and have a positive impact on the game. Like every selection, there is some talent missing out, and I will be keeping an eye on these and other players as we look to increase competition within the wider playing pool.
“There is great talent within the group and this is a great opportunity for us to develop its foundations and learn about what’s needed to compete at the highest level going forward.
“For now, we are just excited to start, to put the head down and work hard. We are relishing the prospect of running out in front of our home supporters at The RDS for the first game of the Championship.”
McWilliams will name his Ireland captain for the Championship in the coming weeks.
Ireland Women’s Squad:
Amanda McQuade (Railway Union RFC/Ulster)*
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(5)
Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(2)
Linda Djougang (ASM Romagnat Rugby/Leinster)(17)
Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)*
Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC/Ulster)(3)
Emma Hooban (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(8)
Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster)(6)
Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht)(22)
Sam Monaghan (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(5)
Aoife McDermott (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(18)
Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC/Connacht)*
Grace Moore (Railway Union RFC/IQ Rugby)(1)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)(10)
Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)*
Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)(7)
Emma Murphy (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)*
Edel McMahon (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(14)
Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)(1)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(7)
Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)*
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)(18)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(13)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(16)
Nikki Caughey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(13)
Enya Breen (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(9)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(7)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(12)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(6)
Lucy Mulhall (Wicklow RFC/Leinster)(1)
Beibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)(15)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC/Munster)(6)
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster)(7)
Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)*
Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)(18)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(23)
Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)*
Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)*
Ireland TikTok Women’s Six Nations Fixtures:
- Ireland v Wales, Saturday 26th March, 4.45pm, The RDS
- France v Ireland, Saturday 2nd April, 2.15pm, Stade Ernest Wallon
- Ireland v Italy, Sunday 10th April, 5pm, Musgrave Park
- England v Ireland, Sunday 24th April, 12pm, Mattioli Woods Welford Road
- Ireland v Scotland, Saturday 30th April, 8pm, Kingspan Stadium.