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McWilliams Announces Ireland Team To Face England

McWilliams Announces Ireland Team To Face England

Head coach Greg McWilliams has named the Ireland team, sponsored by Aon, for Sunday’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash with England at Mattioli Woods Welford Road (kick-off 12pm – live on Virgin Media Two/BBC Two/BBC iPlayer).

Nichola Fryday captains Ireland for the fourth round encounter in Leicester, with two uncapped players included in the matchday 23.

Molly Scuffil-McCabe will make her Ireland 15s debut at full-back, while her Railway Union and Leinster team-mate Niamh Byrne is in line for her first cap off the bench.

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With a number of players unavailable due to Ireland Sevens duty, the 24-year-old Scuffil-McCabe joins Aoife Doyle and Eimear Considine in Ireland’s new-look back-three. The experienced Sene Naoupu returns in midfield alongside Enya Breen.

The half-back pairing of Nicole Cronin and Kathryn Dane remains unchanged, as does the front row combination of Linda Djougang, Neve Jones and Christy Haney, who makes her second start at tighthead prop.

Fryday leads from the second row alongside Railway Union lock Aoife McDermott, who comes in for the injured Sam Monaghan (calf).

The back row of Dorothy Wall, Edel McMahon and Hannah O’Connor is unchanged from the 29-8 bonus point win over Italy at Musgrave Park just less than a fortnight ago.

On the bench, Grace Moore, Maeve Óg O’Leary and Michelle Claffey are set for their first appearances of the 2022 Championship, with Railway captain Byrne completing the squad.

Commenting on his selection, McWilliams said: “This is an exciting opportunity for players who are desperate for the chance to showcase their talent on the biggest stage.

“As we embark on this journey as a group, we need to test the squad depth, build the playing pool and competition within the dressing room, and there is no greater challenge than facing this world-class England side in front of what will be a record crowd.

“A special mention to our two new caps who have earned their opportunity to pull on the green jersey. To Molly and Niamh, congratulations on your selection, enjoy every moment of the experience and be yourselves this weekend.

“A big challenge is ahead of us but we’ll learn a lot about ourselves, and this week has been all about us and what we can bring to the occasion. We’re ready.”

Sunday’s England v Ireland match is live on Virgin Media Two, BBC Two and the BBC iPlayer.

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v England Women, 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations, Mattioli Woods Welford Road, Sunday, April 24, kick-off 12pm):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) *
14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster) 8
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 46
12. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) 12
11. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) 25
10. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) 19
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) 21
1. Linda Djougang (ASM Romagnat Rugby/Leinster) 20
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster) 9
3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 2
4. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (capt) 25
5. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 18
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 13
7. Edel McMahon (Wasps/IQ Rugby) 17
8. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 10


16. Emma Hooban (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 10
17. Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) 4
18. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 8
19. Grace Moore (Railway Union RFC/IQ Rugby) 1
20. Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 1
21. Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) 3
22. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 12
23. Niamh Byrne (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) *

* Denotes uncapped player