Ireland name team for Women's Six Nations opener

Tom Tierney has named five uncapped players in his matchday 23

BY Newstalk 10:58 Tuesday 31 January 2017, 10:58 31 Jan 2017

Ireland Head Coach Tom Tierney Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Paul Walsh

Ireland Women's Head Coach Tom Tierney has named five uncapped women in his 23-player squad to face Scotland on Friday night in Ireland's opening match of the Women's Six Nations.

Ailsa Hughes set to win her first cap as she starts at scrum-half, with the remaining four players starting from the bench. In the replacements, all three of the front-row forwards are uncapped, with hooker Jennie Finlay and props Ilse Van Staden and Ciara O'Connor all in line to wear the green jersey for the first time. Eimear Considine, who has been capped for the Ireland Sevens will be looking to win her first cap in the 15-a-side game on Friday evening.

In the starting fifteen, Highfield hooker Leah Lyons, who won her first cap back in November is partnered in the front-row by props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan. In the second-row, experienced international Marie-Louise Reilly will lock-down with St. Mary's College player Orla Fitzsimons.

The back-row will see flankers Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy pack-down with Number 8 Paula Fitzpatrick, who will captain the side in absence of Niamh Briggs, who is continuing her rehab from injury.

In the backline, uncapped Hughes will link-up with experienced out-half Nora Stapleton. Sene Naoupu partners Jenny Murphy, and the back three sees Alison Miller and Niamh Kavanagh on the wings, with Mairead Coyne at full-back.

Speaking ahead of the side departing for Scotland, Tierney said; "The first game of the Six Nations is always a big challenge, as it's very difficult to know what the opposition are going to throw at you. Scotland in front of their home crowd will be looking to give their fans something to get excited about, so it's really important that we go into the game fully focused."

"There's some new caps in the side for this Friday, and those players have performed really well in the camps that we've had over the previous number of weeks, so now it's their chance to transfer what they've been doing in training into the international arena."

Ireland team and replacements to face Scotland:

15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians / Munster)
13. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere / Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union / Leinster)*

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union / Leinster)
2. Leah Lyons (Highfield / Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
4. Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary's College / Leinster)
5. Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians / Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht)
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College / Leinster) Captain


16. Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere / Leinster)*
17. Ilse Van Staden (Cooke / Ulster)*
18. Ciara O Connor (Galwegians / Connacht)*
19. Elaine Anthony (Highfield / Munster)
20. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore / Connacht)
21. Mary Healy (Galwegians / Connacht)
22. Claire Mc Laughlin (Cooke / Ulster)
23. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians / Munster)*


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