Five Connacht players have been named in the Ireland Women’s matchday 23 for Friday’s Six Nations opener with England at Energia Park, Donnybrook (k/o 5pm).
 
Three of those players will start the tie, with Nicole Fowley named at out-half, Laura Feely in the front row and Nichola Fryday in the second row. Meanwhile prop Anne Marie O’Hora is in line for her first Irish cap off the bench while Alison Miller is named at number 23.
 
Speaking ahead of the first test, Head Coach Adam Griggs said: “There’s no bigger challenge than to open the Six Nations against England, they are second in the world for a reason and are a very good side who challenge you in every part of the game.
 
We had a good test against them in November and while we didn’t get the result, we showed some of the standards and improvements that are required to compete at this level which was a huge positive for us.
 
We have had good preparations leading into this Friday and are looking for a strong performance to get the championship started in front of what we hope will be an amazing crowd.

 
Ireland Women’s Team v England Women (Friday 1st February 2019, Womens Six Nations. Energia Park, Donnybrook – Kick-off 17.00hrs)
15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
12. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
11. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
2. Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
6. Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) Captain
 
Replacements:
16. Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
17. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
18. Anne Marie O’Hora (Galwegians/ Connacht) *
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
21. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) *
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
23. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
*Denotes Uncapped player at this level
 
Ireland Women’s Team – Six Nations 2019 Fixtures
Friday 1 February: Ireland v England, Donnybrook, 5pm – Buy Tickets
Friday 8 February: Scotland v Ireland, Scotstoun, 7.35pm
Saturday 23 February: Italy v Ireland, Parma, 6.30pm
Saturday 9 March: Ireland v France, Donnybrook, 7pm – Buy Tickets
Sunday 17 March: Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30pm

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Six Connacht players named in Ireland Women’s Squad for Six Nations