Connacht players Alison Miller and Claire Molloy have been named in the starting Ireland Womens team to play Scotland in the opening game of the RBS 6 Nations Championship this Friday night in Ashbourne RFC (KO 19:30)

Saracens’ Hannah Casey is set to make her Ireland debut against Scotland as Philip Doyle’s charges open their Championship title defense.

There is a familiar feel to the selection to face the Scots with players such as Fiona Coghlan, Nora Stapleton, Alison Miller and Lynne Cantwell all set to start.  Niamh Briggs, one of the heroes last year’s Womens Grand Slam campaign starts from the bench.

There are three uncapped players named in the match day squad – Hannah Casey starts on the wing while fellow Saracen Kerri-Ann Craddock and St Mary’s Orla Fitzsimons start on the bench.

Philip Doyle, Ireland Women’s Head Coach, commented, “We had a good win against the Scots last year but we will need to put in a similar performance this time round to we get a positive result.  It is great to be starting off the campaign in Ashbourne and hopefully we can deliver a strong performance.”

The Ireland Women’s team will play their first ever fixture at the Aviva Stadium when Italy come to play on Saturday 8th March.  This game will kick-off approximately 40minutes after Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash against the Azzuri has concluded.

IRELAND WOMENS v Scotland Womens – RBS 6 Nations Championship

Player / Club / Province / Caps

15. Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile) 8
14. Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile)*
13. Lynne Cantwell (Richmond /Exile) 77
12. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 8
11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise RFC/UCC/Connacht) 14
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 18
9. Amy Davis (Blackrock /Ulster) 30

8. Heather O’ Brien (Highfield/Munster) 9
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht) 26
6. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster) 10
5. Marie –Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 25
4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 10
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 12
2. Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster) 9
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) 74 capt

Replacements
16. Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster) 36
17. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster) 2
18. Kerri –Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile)*
19. Orla Fitzsimmons (St. Mary’s/Leinster)*
20. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster) 4
21. Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile) 15
22. Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster) 47
23. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster) 36

* Denotes uncapped player

RBS 6 Nations Ireland Women’s Fixtures
IRELAND WOMEN v Scotland Women
Asbourne RFC; 19:30
Friday 31st January, 2014

IRELAND WOMEN v Wales Women
Ashbourne RFC; 19:30
Friday 7th February, 2014

England Women v IRELAND WOMEN
Twickenham Stadium: 18:20
Saturday 22nd February, 2014

IRELAND WOMEN v Italy Women
Aviva Stadium; 17:00
Saturday 8th March, 2014

France Women v IRELAND WOMEN
Stade du Hameau; 18:45
Friday 14th March, 2014

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