Tom Tierney announces Ireland women’s Six Nations squad

Niamh Briggs will captain the side from full-back as they look to defend 2015 title

Niamh Briggs will captain Ireland as they look to retain the Six Nations Championship. Photograph: Inpho

Niamh Briggs will captain Ireland as they look to retain the Six Nations Championship. Photograph: Inpho

 

Tom Tierney has announced his squad for the Six Nations as Ireland’s women look to retain the championship they won in 2015.

Ireland’s title defence begins on Saturday February 6th when they take on Wales at Donnybrook, and they will take part in a Twickenham double-header on February 27th, taking to the field after their male counterparts face England.

Tierney has named seven uncapped players in his 30-woman squad, with Tralee trio Zoe Grattage, Ciara Griffin and Ciara O’Connor, and St Mary’s Grainne Egan, selected in the pack.

U.L Bohs wing Liz Burke, Old Belvedere centre Elise O’Byrne-White andQueen’s University centre Claire McLaughlin are the three new faces in the back line.

Niamh Briggs will captain the side again from full-back.

On his selection, Tierney said: “We have named a squad full of talent for this year’s championship. There is a nice blend of youth and experience and the vibe in the camp has been very positive over the last few weeks.

“We’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of the girls play and we’ve looked at a number of combinations. The newer members of the squad are doing really well, so we’re looking forward to getting the campaign underway against Wales in Donnybrook and seeing what the girls can do.”

Ireland Women’s 2016 Six Nations squad:

Forwards:

Elaine Anthony (Munster / Highfield)

Ciara Cooney (Leinster / Railway Union)

Ailis Egan (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)

Grainne Egan (Connacht / St.Mary’s)*

Paula Fitzpatrick (Leinster / Stade Toulousain)

Orla Fitzsimons (Leinster / St.Mary’s)

Zoe Grattage (Munster / Tralee)*

Ciara Griffin (Munster / Tralee)*

Claire Molloy (Bristol)

Cliodhna Moloney (Leinster / Railway Union)

Heather O’Brien (Munster / Stade Toulousain)

Fiona O’Brien (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)

Ciara O’Connor (Connacht / Tralee)*

Ruth O’Reilly (Connacht / Galwegians)

Lindsay Peat (Leinster / Railway Union)

Fiona Reidy (Munster / U.L Bohemians)

Marie-Louise Reilly (Leinster / Old Belvedere)

Sophie Spence (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)

Backs:

Niamh Briggs (Munster / U.L Bohemians)

Liz Burke (Munster / U.L Bohemians)*

Nikki Caughey (Ulster / Railway Union)

Mairead Coyne (Connacht / Galwegians)

Aine Donnelly (Leinster/ Cill Dara)

Mary Healy (Connacht / Galwegians)

Claire McLaughlin (Ulster / Queen’s University)*

Larissa Muldoon (Skewen)

Sene Naoupu (Connacht / Galwegians)

Elise O’Byrne-White (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)*

Jackie Shiels (Richmond)

Nora Stapleton (Leinster / Old Belvedere)

Ireland Six Nations fixtures:

Sat Feb 6th, 1pm, Ireland v Wales, Donnybrook Stadium

Sat Feb 13th, 9pm (LT), France v Ireland, Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan

Sat Feb 27th, 19:15pm, England v Ireland, Twickenham

Sun Mar 13th, 1pm. Ireland v Italy Donnybrook, Stadium

Sun Mar 20th, 1pm, Ireland v Scotland, Donnybrook Stadium

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