Ciara Griffin, centre, pictured celebrating after scoring a try during the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup game with Australia, will captain Ireland in their Six Nations opener this weekend
THREE Limerick-based players have been included in the Ireland Women’s team to face England in the opening round of the Six Nations Championship at Energia Park, Donnybrook this Friday night, 5pm.
Three UL-Bohemian players, winger Eimear Considine, prop Fiona Reidy and number eight and captain Ciara Griffin, have all been named in Ireland’s starting line-up for the game.
Up front, Leah Lyons is named at hooker with Laura Feely and Reidy joining her in the front row.
Aoife McDermott and Nichola Fryday are named in the second row with Juliet Shortand Claire Molloy named alongside Captain Griffin in the back row.
Lauren Delaney is named at full back with Considine and Megan Williams on the wings.
Sene Naoupu and Michelle Claffey make up the centre partnership with Nicole Fowley named at outhalf and Ailsa Hughes at scrum half.
There are three uncapped players named among the replacements hoping to get their first international run-out, Linda Djougang, Anne Marie O’Hora and Kathryn Dane.
Speaking ahead of the first test, Ireland Womens Head Coach, Adam Griggs said: “There’s no bigger challenge than to open the Six Nations against England, they are second in the world for a reason and are a very good side who challenge you in every part of the game.
“We had a good test against them in November and while we didn’t get the result, we showed some of the standards and improvements that are required to compete at this level which was a huge positive for us.
We have had good preparations leading into this Friday and are looking for a strong performance to get the championship started in front of what we hope will be an amazing crowd behind us."
Ireland Women’s Team v England Women (Friday 1st February 2019, Women’s Six Nations. Energia Park, Donnybrook - Kick-off 17.00hrs)
15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
12. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
11. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
2. Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
6. Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) Capt
16. Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
17. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
18. Anne Marie O’Hora (Galwegians/ Connacht) *
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
21. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) *
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
23. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
*Denotes Uncapped player at this level
Ireland Women's Team – Women's 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