Ireland look to lay down a marker for season against Wales

Women’s November international rugby preview: Ireland v Wales, UCD Bowl, 1pm

The Ireland Women's team will be looking to claim a breakthrough victory in a November international when they welcome Wales to the UCD Bowl on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 1pm).

Head coach Adam Griggs has named an experienced line-up for this encounter, with Leinster lock Judy Bobbett the only debutant in the starting 15. However, the uncapped quartet of Victoria Dabanovich O'Mahony, Katie O'Dwyer, Niamh Ní Dhroma and Hannah O'Connor are named amongst the replacements.

Munster's Eimear Considine is joined in the Irish back three by Lauren Delany and Galway teenager Beibhinn Parsons, while Enya Breen links up with Sene Naoupu in midfield. Ellen Murphy and Nicole Cronin are the preferred choices at half-back, but Larissa Muldoon does return to an Irish match day squad for the first time since the 2017 World Cup.

UL Bohemian flanker Ciara Griffin retains the captaincy as part of a backrow that also includes Edel McMahon and Anna Caplice.

Following a run of six previous autumn defeats – not to mention a disappointing fifth-place finish in this year’s Six Nations Championship – Griggs is hopeful his side can hit the ground running in Belfield.

“Sunday is the first marker for our squad with an exciting and challenging season ahead. We have had some good training games and preparation so it’s now time to put that into action with a strong performance,” Griggs acknowledged.

“Our focus is starting off this international window with a fast start and showing the progress that has been made over the last six weeks in camp.”

IRELAND: E Considine; L Delany, E Breen, S Naoupu, B Parsons; E Murphy, N Cronin; L Feely, C Moloney, L Djougang; N Fryday, J Bobbett; C Griffin, E McMahon, A Caplice.

Replacements: V Dabanovich O'Mahony, K O'Dwyer, AM O'Hora, N Ní Dhroma, H O'Connor, K Dane, L Muldoon, M Claffey.

WALES: K Powell; P Randall, A Donovan, R Wilkins, C Keight; E Snowsill, F Lewis; G Pyrs, K Jones, A Evans; N John, G Crabb; A Callender, B Lewis, S Lillicrap.

Replacements: C Phillips, G Jenkins, C Hale, S Harries, R Lock, K Bevan, M Webb, R O'Loughlin.

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