Niamh Briggs makes first senior Sevens appearance as squad is finalised

Lucy Mulhall will captain the side during the Grand Prix event in Russia this weekend

Niamh Briggs, Rugby, Ireland, Sevens

Image: ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama

Ireland 15s captain Niamh Briggs will make her first senior Sevens appearance as Anthony Eddy confirms the Ireland squad to compete in the first leg of the Rugby Europe Women's Sevens Grand Prix in Kazan, Russia this weekend.

There are four changes to the squad that competed in the final stage of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in Clermont last month.

Nicole Cronin has successfully recovered from a series of injuries that have hampered her over the last number of months and having come through the Amsterdam 7s, will make her first appearance in a green jersey since last year.

Louise Galvin also returns to action after recovering from a broken leg. Briggs makes her first senior Sevens appearance, while Shannon Houston is the fourth player added to the side.

Ireland have been drawn in Pool B with hosts Russia, Italy and Belgium.

"It's a very busy period for the Women's Sevens programme at the moment. We have had teams competing in Clermont, Amsterdam, Guilford and Kinsale over the past number of weeks and it has given important game time to the players" Eddy said before departing for the tournament.

"The European Championships are a very important fixture on our calendar, with the likes of GB7s, Russia, France and Spain all involved, it's set to be a good test for us.

"The World Series games can be very physical, so we have decided to give some of the players a rest this week, but this will be a great opportunity for the other players coming in to show what they can do. With Olympic and World Series qualification on the line in UCD at the end of the month, it's important that we have all of our players in peak condition for that".

Ireland Women's squad in full
Ashleigh Baxter – Belfast Harlequins / Ulster
Niamh Briggs – UL Bohemians / Munster
Nicole Cronin – Railway Union / Munster
Aoife Doyle – Shannon / Munster
Kim Flood - Railway Union / Leinster
Stacey Flood – Railway Union / Leinster
Louise Galvin - UL Bohemians / Munster
Shannon Houston – Blackrock / Leinster
Alison Miller – Portlaoise / Connacht
Lucy Mulhall – Rathdrum / Leinster - (C)
Hannah Tyrrell – Old Belvedere / Leinster
Megan Williams – St.Mary's College RFC
Match Schedule - Kazan
Saturday 11th June 2016
Ireland v Italy – 11:50 (local time) / 9.50 (Irish time)
Ireland v Belgium – 14:05 (local time) / 12.05 (Irish time)
Ireland v Russia – 16:50 (local time) / 14.50 (Irish time)