No place for Niamh Briggs as Ireland name Women's squad for Wales

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No place for Niamh Briggs as Ireland name Six Nations squad

Carly Waters of USA is tackled by Ciara Griffin of Ireland during the Women's International Rugby match between Ireland and USA at Energia Park in Donnybrook

Ireland Women’s Head Coach, Adam Griggs has named a 29-player squad ahead of this weekend’s Women’s Six Nations, uncapped, warm-up fixture against Wales in Energia Park, Donnybrook at 1pm on Sunday, 20th January. 

Eight new faces have been named in the squad. Linda Djougang, Anne Marie O’Hora, Hannah O’Connor and Claire Boles are named in the forwards, while Kathryn Dane, Claire Keohane, Ailbhe Dowling and Enya Breen are named among the backs. 

However, there is no place in the squad for UL Bohemian star and former Irish captain Niamh Briggs. The star of Ireland's Grand Slam win in 2013, Briggs has been deemed surplus to requirements, which will come as a shock to many. 

Also missing from the initial list is Limerick's Nicole Cronin. The scrum half is believed to have picked up an injury and is not expected to make a return in time to see some action in the tournament. 

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Griggs said "We have had two very productive training camps since Christmas and the players have been working hard to make sure we carry on from the good performance we had in our last autumn international against England in Twickenham. 

While we didn’t get the result we were after in that game the players took a big step in terms of their development and now have a feel for what is required at international level.

It’s great to get a warm up fixture for the Six Nations of this quality where we will be able to try out some new combinations and really test ourselves in what we have been doing in camp together. 

We are missing some key players who are unavailable to us due to injury which is unfortunate and not ideal at the start of the Six Nations, but it is a chance to give some very talented new faces an opportunity to put their hands up and show us they can compete at international level."

Ireland Women get their Six Nations campaign underway against England in Energia Park on Friday 2nd of February 

Ireland Women’s Six Nations 2019 Squad 
Claire Boles (Railway Union/ Ulster)* 
Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster) *
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
Anna Caplice (Richmond) 
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) * 
Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/IQ Rugby) 
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
Ailbhe Dowling (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) * 
Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) 
Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster) 
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire Keohane (Railway Union/ Munster) *
Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere / Ulster)
Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht) 
Claire Molloy (Wasps) 
Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock/ Leinster) *
Anne Marie O’Hora ( Galwegians/ Connacht)* 
Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster) 
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemians/ Munster) 
Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster) 
Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 

*Denotes Uncapped player at this level 

Ireland Women's Team – Six Nations 2019 Fixtures: 
Friday 1 February: Ireland v England, Donnybrook, 5pm 
Friday 8 February: Scotland v Ireland, Scotstoun, 7.35pm 
Saturday 23 February: Italy v Ireland, Parma, 6.30pm 
Saturday 9 March: Ireland v France, Donnybrook, 7pm
Sunday 17 March: Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30pm