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Ireland Squad Announced For Guinness Women’s Six Nations

Ireland Squad Announced For Guinness Women’s Six Nations

Ireland head coach Scott Bemand has today confirmed a 35-player squad for the Guinness Women’s Six Nations, as preparations get under way for the 2024 opener away to France on Saturday, March 23.

Following the successful WXV3 tournament in Dubai and the current Celtic Challenge competition, Bemand and his fellow coaches have selected the playing group for the upcoming Championship, with eight uncapped players included in the squad.

Ruth Campbell and Katie Whelan, who were part of the WXV3 panel, as well as Chisom Ugwueru, Katie Corrigan, Katie Heffernan and Clare Gorman, have all impressed in this year’s Celtic Challenge campaign to earn their first Six Nations call-ups.

Uncapped IQ Rugby duo Andrea Stock and Shannon Ikahihifo are also part of the squad that will be building up for Bemand’s first Six Nations campaign at the helm.

Having assumed the co-captaincy roles for the WXV3 title win in October, Sam Monaghan and Edel McMahon will once again lead the side for the upcoming run of five Test matches in the space of as many weeks.

There are five players included who have featured on the HSBC SVNS Series for Ireland this season, including Béibhinn Parsons, Eve Higgins, and Aoibheann Reilly who were all part of Ireland’s historic first title success in Perth last month.

Ireland Squad Guinness Women's Six Nations

In addition to the 35 players chosen, Bemand has named seven women in a wider training panel that will also assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre when camp commences next Monday (February 26): India Daley, Kate Flannery, Hannah O’Connor, Maeve Óg O’Leary, Ivana Kiripati, Leah Tarpey, and Kayla Waldron.

Ireland’s opening home match of 2024 is against Italy at the RDS on Sunday, March 31, and following a down week, they will move to Cork to host Wales at Virgin Media Park on Saturday, April 13.

The final two rounds will see the girls in green take on reigning champions England at Twickenham on Saturday, April 20, before concluding the Championship at home to Scotland at Kingspan Stadium the following Saturday (April 27).

Commenting on the squad announcement, head coach Bemand said:

We are excited for this group of players who will represent Ireland in the upcoming Guinness Women’s Six Nations. The WXV3 and the Celtic Challenge preparation has been vital for our development and expanding our player pool.

“On the back of the success of the Women’s Sevens side, we are chasing potential through this group of players, and we are all looking to perform in a high quality competition.

“With three home games in Ireland, we are looking forward to connecting with the fan base and playing in front of home crowds in Dublin, Cork, and Belfast, and would urge everyone to get behind us and show their support for the Women’s team.”

Bemand has also confirmed his coaching team for the 2024 Championship. Declan Danaher is the new Ireland Women’s defence coach, while scrum coach Denis Fogarty and assistant backs and attack coach Larissa Muldoon continue in their roles, alongside senior coach John McKee.

IRELAND WOMEN’S Squad (2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations Championship):

Player/Club/Province –

Backs (16):

Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Enya Breen (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Katie Corrigan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) *
Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
Nicole Fowley (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
Clare Gorman (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) *
Katie Heffernan (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) *
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Chisom Ugwueru (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) *
Katie Whelan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) *

Forwards (19):

Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC/Ulster)
Ruth Campbell (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) *
Megan Collis (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Eimear Corri (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Sarah Delaney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
Shannon Ikahihifo (Ealing Trailfinders/IQ Rugby) *
Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster)
Sadhbh McGrath (Cooke RFC/Ulster)
Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (co-capt)
Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)
Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury) (co-capt)
Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Andrea Stock (Ealing Trailfinders/IQ Rugby) *
Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)

Training Panellists:

India Daley (Blackrock College RFC/Ulster) *
Kate Flannery (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) *
Ivana Kiripati (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht) *
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Leah Tarpey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Kayla Waldron (Railway Union RFC/Connacht) *

* Denotes uncapped player at this level

IRELAND WOMEN’S Coaching & Management Team:

Scott Bemand – Head Coach
John McKee – Senior Coach
Declan Danaher – Defence Coach
Denis Fogarty – Scrum Coach
Larissa Muldoon – Assistant Backs and Attack Coach (World Rugby Intern)
Elaine Ryan – Team Manager
Roisin Murphy – National Team Physio
Matt Cosgrove – Team Doctor
Cian O’Brien – Performance Analyst
Ed Slattery – Head of Athletic Performance
Greg Hollins – Athletic Performance Assistant
Emma Brennan – Performance Nutritionist
Andy Weir – Baggage Master
Sean Ryan – High Performance Culture and Leadership Lead
Lisa Doyle – Media and Communications

Guinness Women’s Six Nations Fixtures –

Saturday, March 23: France v Ireland, Stade Marie-Marvingt, kick-off 4.15pm local time/3.15pm Irish time (live on RTÉ)
Sunday, March 31: Ireland v Italy, the RDS, kick-off 3pm (live on RTÉ)
Saturday, April 13: Ireland v Wales, Virgin Media Park, kick-off 4.45pm (live on Virgin Media)
Saturday, April 2o: England v Ireland, Twickenham, kick-off 2.15pm (live on Virgin Media)
Saturday, April 27: Ireland v Scotland, Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 2.30pm (live on RTÉ)