The Ireland women team and the Italian Women Squads have been announced ahead of the Six Nations clash at Viale Piacenza (Lanfranchi), Parma on Saturday 23rd February, kick off 18:45 UK/Ire. (Live RTÉ/Eurosport Italia).

While the IRFU are still tinkering with their BREXIT Backstop plans in the Men’s and U20’s squad they appear to have everything in place for the Women with not a single player playing their club rugby north of the border for the third match running.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Ulster players are not represented, in fact they receive their first start of this campaign with Enniskillen native Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere) the only change to the starting line up that came away with a win against Scotland a fortnight ago. Dane is joined by fellow Enniskillen RFC graduate Claire Boles (Railway Union) and Old Belvedere teammate Claire McLaughlin who both start on the bench.

The inclusion of Dane and Boles in the squad for the second game in succession is a remarkable achievement for Enniskillen RFC.

Women Six Nations standings after Round 2.
Team PL W D L PF PA DIFF TF TA TB LB PTS
England 2 2 0 0 92 33 59 15 5 2 0 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 31 10 21 4 1 1 0 7
France 2 1 0 1 78 44 34 13 7 2 0 6
Ireland 2 1 0 1 29 56 -27 5 9 1 0 5
Wales 2 0 1 1 6 55 -49 0 9 0 0 2
Scotland 2 0 0 2 12 50 -38 2 8 0 0 0

 

Italy are unbeaten this year, a win against Scotland (away) was followed by a scrappy draw with Wales (home) and the “Italaldonne” will be targeting a third place finish up amongst the Women’s powerhouse side of England and France.

Ireland appear to be their main rivals for a top three finish and everything is pointing towards this being a close game. Ireland have received a huge boost with the return from injury of, FRU Favourite, Lindsay Peat (Railway Union) who should spice things up in the second half should she get a run from the bench.

It’s a tough one to call but, on paper, Italy go into this one as marginal favourites. However, it might be a title they are not comfortable with so we’ll go for a narrow win for Ireland Women.

Italy Women Ireland Women
Backs 15 Lauren Delany
Sofia Stefan 14 Eimear Considine
Camilla Sarasso 13 Sene Naoupu
Aura Muzzo 12 Michelle Claffey
Manuela Furlan 11 Alison Miller
Michela Sillari 10 Nicole Fowley
Beatrice Rigoni 9 Kathryn Dane
Jessica Busato 1 Laura Feely
Veronica Madia 2 Emma Hooban
Sara Barattin 3 Leah Lyons
Forwards 4 Aoife McDermott
Lucia Gai 5 Nichola Fryday
Gaia Giacomoli 6 Anna Caplice
Sara Tounesi 7 Claire Molloy
Meliss Bettoni 8 Ciara Griffin
Lucia Cammarano
Silvia Turani 16 Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird
Giordana Duca 17 Lindsay Peat
Valeria Fedrighi 18 Fiona Reidy
Valentina Ruzza 19 Claire Boles
Ilaria Arrighetti 20 Claire McLaughlin
Giada Franco 21 Ailsa Hughes
Elisa Giordano 22 Ellen Murphy
Francesca Sberna 23 Laura Sheehan
Francesca Sgorbini

#SUFTUM