The Ireland Women’s Team to play Wales in their opening game of the Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship in Ashbourne RFC on Friday 3rd February has been named.
The side has a new look and includes two new caps in the starting fifteen and a further four uncapped players in the replacements.
Belfast Harlequins’ Ashleigh Baxter will earn her first cap at fullback and Cooke’s Grace Davitt returns to the team after missing out last season and forms the centre partnership with Niamh Briggs.
Ulster’s numbers are further boosted by Larissa Muldoon who is currently studying in Cardiff and Nikki Caughey, both of whom start from the bench. Caughey is the second Belfast Harlequins player to be called into the squad.
City of Derry’s Stacey Lea Kennedy was unlucky to miss out on selection this time round but hopefully the abrasive hooker will make an appearance later in the series.
The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in Ashbourne RFC on Friday night
Ireland Women’s Team
15. Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)*
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians – Munster)
13. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians – Munster)
12. Grace Davitt (Cooke – Ulster)
11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield – Connacht)
10. Lynne Cantwell (Exile)
9. Amy Davis (Blackrock – Leinster)
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians – Leinster) Captain
2. Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians – Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere – Leinster)
4. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere – Leinster)
5. Sophie Spence (Exile)*
6. Laura Guest (Highfield – Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol – Exile)
8. Joy Neville (UL Bohemians – Munster)
16. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s – Leinster)*
17. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians – Connacht)*
18. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee – Munster)*
19. Heather O’Brien (Highfield – Munster)
20. Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC – Ulster)
21. Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)*
22. A.N. Other