Ireland women's rugby team head coach Tom Tierney
THIRTEEN Munster players have been included in the Ireland Women's management team 48-strong training panel to prepare for the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland this August.
The training panel boasts 13 players with previous World Cup experience including Claire Molloy, Marie-Louise Reilly, Niamh Briggs and Nora Stapleton, who will be hoping to appear in their third World Cup having featured in England (2010) and France (2014).
Recently crowned All-Ireland League Champions UL-Bohemian have six players in the panel, including Captain Niamh Briggs, flankers Ciara Griffin and Anna Caplice and winger Eimear Considine.
Four players from outside the AIL also feature, including the Shannon pair of Nicole Cronin and Aoife Doyle.
Ireland Women's Head Coach, Limerick man Tom Tierney, said; "From the November tests and throughout the Six Nations, we wanted to develop depth in the squad and provide players with the opportunity to put their hand up for selection for the World Cup.
“Finishing in second place in the Six Nations was a positive result for the team and we will look to build on this prior to August and the World Cup.
“The main goal for the coming months is to have our players as best prepared as possible for the World Cup.
“It's a huge opportunity for the players, and for the country, to have an event as big as this one on our door step and we want to give the players every opportunity to perform over the course of the competition.
“The aim now is to make sure the players that have been selected on this panel are all up to speed on how we want to play our game in August, as well as being physically fit for what will be a challenging and demanding tournament.”
The players selected will be involved in both skills and national camps over the coming months, and will play two warm-up games against Japan and a training camp with Spain, in the build-up to Ireland's opening World Cup game against Australia on August 9.
Ireland’s Womens training panel for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017: Forwards: Elaine Anthony (Highfield/Munster), Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)*, Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College RFC/Leinster), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary's College RFC/Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht), Ciara Griffin (UL-Bohemian/Munster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster), Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Ilse Van Staden (Cooke/Ulster). Backs: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/Munster), Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht), Nicole Cronin (Shannon RFC/Munster)*, Aoife Doyle (Shannon RFC/Munster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster), Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster) *, Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/Connacht), Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster) *, Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster) *, Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster), Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemian/Munster), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union), Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum RFC) *, Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster, Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe (Railway Union/Munster) *, Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls), Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Aylesford Bulls /Munster)*, Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Megan Williams (St. Mary's College RFC) *
*Denotes uncapped at this level