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McWilliams Names Ireland Team To Face Italy In TikTok Women’s Six Nations

Nichola Friday, Linda Djougang. Neve Jones, Christy Haney, Sam Monaghan and Dorothy Wall during the national anthem 1/4/2023

Ireland will play in WXV 3 later this year. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Head coach Greg McWilliams has named his Ireland team, sponsored by Aon, for Saturday’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash with Italy in Parma (kick-off 5.45pm local time/4.45pm Irish time – live on Virgin Media Two/BBC iPlayer).

McWilliams has made three changes to the starting XV for the round 3 fixture at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, with Lauren Delany, Anna McGann and Ailsa Hughes all starting in the back-line.

Delany slots in at full-back in the back-three alongside Aoife Doyle and Natasja Behan, with McGann, who previously featured off the bench, joining Aoife Dalton in the midfield for her maiden Test start.

Hughes is selected at scrum half for her first appearance of the 2023 Championship, partnering her Leinster team-mate Dannah O’Brien in an exciting half-back pairing.

As part of an unchanged pack, Linda Djougang, Neve Jones and Christy Haney continue together in the front row, captain Nichola Fryday partners Sam Monaghan in the second row, and Dorothy Wall, Grace Moore and Deirbhile Nic a Bháird are retained in the loose forwards.

On the replacements bench, Clara Nielson, Sadhbh McGrath, Kathryn Buggy, Hannah O’Connor and Brittany Hogan provide the reinforcements up front. Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Vicky Irwin and Méabh Deely complete the matchday 23.

Commenting ahead of the game, McWilliams said: “It has been a really good block of preparation for this game. We arrived in Parma yesterday afternoon following three days of hard work in Dublin, and the group have come back focused and energised after the down week.

“Saturday will be another stiff challenge for us against a side that reached the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup, but again it is one we are relishing as a group as it gives us the opportunity to continue our development in the Test arena.”

Saturday’s match is live on Virgin Media Two and the BBC iPlayer, with live updates across the Irish Rugby Twitter and Instagram channels.

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Italy Women, 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma, Saturday, April 15, kick-off 5.45pm local time/4.45pm Irish time):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) 19
14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster) 14
13. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
12. Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC/Connacht) 3
11. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 4
10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 17
1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 26
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster) 15
3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 7
4. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (capt) 31
5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) 12
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 18
7. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby) 7
8. Deirbhile Nic a Bháird (Old Belvedere RFC/Munster) 6


16. Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby) 1
17. Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry RFC/Cooke RFC/Ulster) 2
18. Kathryn Buggy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) 1
19. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 16
20. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) 12
21. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 6
22. Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/Ulster) 3
23. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) 4