Niamh Briggs returns to Irish XV for Six Nations opener

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Niamh Briggs returns to Irish XV for Six Nations opener

Niamh Briggs who will start at 10 this weekend

The Ireland Women's team has been named for the oepning match of the Women's Six Nations against France in Satde Ernest Wallon on Saturday night.

Head Coach, Adam Griggs has included one new cap in the starting XV with Megan Williams, capped previously at Sevens, set for her debut following a good showing in the warm up match against Wales earlier this month.

Williams is named in the back three alongside Kim Flood, at fullback, and the hugely experience Alison Miller on the opposite wing.

The match also marks the welcome return to action of former captain Niamh Briggs after a long season out with injury. Briggs is named at outhalf and is partnered in the halfbacks by Ailsa Hughes.

Claire McLaughlin and Sene Naoupu make up the centre partnership.

In the pack Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Fiona Reidy make up the front row with Ciara Cooney and Orla Fitzsimons named in the second row.

Ciara Griffin starts at Number 8 with Claire Molloy and Anna Caplice on the flanks.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Griggs said, "The opening game of this tournament is always going to be a challenge and France in front of their home crowd is immense.

However, the squad have had good preparation over the last 2 weeks and are excited and focused on the challenge at hand to start our campaign off with a positive performance."

Ireland Women Team & Replacements (v France Women, 2018 Womens 6 Nations Championship, Stade Ernst Wallon, Toulouse, Saturday, February 3, kick-off 9pm local time/8pm Irish time)

15 - Kim Flood (Railway Union/ Leinster)
14 - Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
13 - Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/ Ulster)
12 - Sene Naoupu (Railway Union/ Leinster)
11 - Alison Miller (Portloaise /Connacht)
10 - Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian / Munster)
9 - Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1 - Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster)
2 - Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/ Leinster)
3 - Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
4 - Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5 - Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary's/ Leinster)
6 - Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
7 - Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht)
8 - Ciara Griffin (Tralee/ Munster) Captain

Replacements
16 - Leah Lyons (Highfield/ Munster)
17 - Laura Feely (Galweigians/ Connacht) *
18 - Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/ Connacht)
19 - Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/ Connacht)
20 - Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's/ Leinster)
21 - Mary Healy (Galwegians/ Connacht)
22 - Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/ Ulster)
23 - Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)

*denotes uncapped player at this level