The defending Six Nations Champions, sponsored by Aon, will play their home matches in Donnybrook this season. They will open their campaign at the Dublin 4 venue when they face Wales on Saturday, 6th February. They will also take part in a double header in Twickenham, when they play England directly after their male counterparts on February 27th.

There are a number of players who will be looking to win their first Ireland cap during the championship. Tralee and Munster players Zoe Grattage and Ciara Griffin are joined by Tralee teammate Ciara O’Connor, who plays provincially with Connacht and St.Mary’s and Connacht flanker Grainne Egan as the uncapped players in the pack. In the backs, U.L Bohs and Munster wing Liz Burke and centres Elise O’Byrne-White (Old Belvedere and Leinster) and Claire McLaughlin (Queen’s University and Ulster) are also uncapped.

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

Speaking on the selection, Ireland Women’s coach, Tom 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”.

Director of Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy added:

“This is an exciting time for women’s rugby in Ireland. In November we saw the team play their first ever Autumn International against England and they’ve had a number of weekend camps at their base in DCU over the last number of months. As well as that, with the move to Donnybrook stadium this year, we will hopefully see even more supporters come out to watch the women play.

There will be some new faces involved in this year’s campaign, which is important as we are constantly looking to develop our squad and build our strength in depth going forward”.

Tickets for Ireland’s home Six Nations games in Donnybrook are available now via Ticketmaster.ie – http://www.ticketmaster.ie/Ireland-tickets/artist/1056338

Ireland Women’s Six Nations 2016 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)

*denotes uncapped player

Ireland Women’s XV Management
Anthony Eddy – Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby
Tom Tierney – Head Coach
Declan O’Brien – Assistant Coach
Derek Dowling – Scrum Coach
Ross Martin – Video Analyst
Jean Casey – Team Manager
Marian Earls – Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator
Ed Slattery – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Alan Farrell – Team Doctor
Ulrik McCarthy – Physiotherapist
Dom Hoban – Physiotherapist
Nóra Ní Fhlannagáin– Nutritionist
Carmel O’Dwyer – Squad Co-ordinator
Sam O’Byrne – Media Officer

Six Nations Ireland Women’s Fixtures:
Sat 6 Feb 13:00 Ireland v Wales Donnybrook Stadium
Sat 13 Feb 21:00 (LT) France v Ireland Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan
Sat 27 Feb 19:15 England v Ireland Twickenham
Sun 13 Mar 13:00 Ireland v Italy Donnybrook Stadium
Sun 20 Mar 13:00 Ireland v Scotland Donnybrook Stadium

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** 2015 RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship Launch, The Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London 27/1/2016 Pictured (L-R): Wales womenÕs captain Rachel Taylor, Scotland womenÕs captain Lisa Martin, England womenÕs captain Sarah Hunter, Ireland womenÕs captain Niamh Briggs, France womenÕs captain Gaelle Mignot and Italy womenÕs captain Sara Barattin with the women's RBS 6 Nations trophy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

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