By John O’Sullivan

 

Former Connacht player Nichola Fryday was named Irish Women’s Captain last week ahead of their 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash against Wales at The RDS today. 

 

Being chosen to lead her country is the latest in a long line of honours for the Exeter Chiefs forward, who has won 22 Irish caps to date since her debut against Canada in 2016. 

 

Few people are better placed to assess Fryday’s development as a Rugby player than JP Walsh, the 26-year-old’s former Connacht Women’s coach. 

 

The current Connacht coach development officer for North West Connacht first met Fryday at a screening day at Buccanneers RFC and was suitably impressed to name her in his starting team for 2016 interprovincial’s at number 8, despite her comparative lack of experience in the sport. 

 

“I made her the main line-out jumper straight away,” he said. 

 

“She lead that part of the team from a young age. She first came into us in 2016 and she took to it like a duck to water. She was very, very coachable, extremely coachable, and a really good person, too, behind it all.

 

“She that hunger and that work rate to succeed and when you have those ingredients, it’s very easy for a coach to help them achieve what they want.”

 

Fryday’s talent as a Rugby player was clear to see from the beginning, but her leadership credentials were also evident and Walsh isn’t surprised that the Offaly native has been chosen to skipper Ireland.

 

The former Galwegian player’s humility – her desire to learn more and push herself to succeed, despite already plying her trade at a high level – were also stand out attributes and are some of the main factors in her ascent to captaining her country.

 

“She leads by example,” Walsh said of the second rows on field personality. 

 

“She’s a really good person and she went about things really quietly(while at Connacht). Every piece of advice you gave her, she took it and went away with it, worked on it, and came back better.

 

“Within her first few months of playing with us and before the Interpro’s, I told her ‘you’ll play for Ireland’. After seeing her talents, I knew she was well capable of playing for Ireland.”

 

Walsh is confident that Fryday’s success – coupled with the likes of Beibhinn Parson’s and Anne Maria O’Hora coming through the provinces developmental systems – will send a positive message to female players in Connacht that they can fulfill international ambitions by playing for the province and starting their careers in Connacht clubs. 

 

“Without a shadow of a doubt,” Walsh said when asked whether other players in Connacht can take encouragement from Fryday’s achievements. 

 

“You could compare it to Bundee Aki playing for The Lions last summer, these moments are huge for the people of Connacht.

 

“She’s made this all for herself. She was willing to come down to Connacht, while she was in college in Dublin and she balanced the two. She was doing all that traveling from Dublin just to come to training.”

 

“Everyone will be well used to her name in a couple of years’ time.”

By John O’Sullivan

 

Whether it’s underage, senior, male or female any Irish rugby squad in 2021 is sure to feature Connacht players. 

 

Shannon Touhey is the latest Westerners player to earn full international honours after making her debut for the senior team against Japan in November. 

 

The centre was over the moon to be selected for her country – especially after training with the national team for over a year without being selected to play – and credits the platform given to her by Connacht to fulfill her international ambitions. 

 

“It’s huge,” Touhey says of the opportunity the western province provides players to be recognised on the international stage. 

 

“Before you would have been lucky to get spotted, but now girls have the interpros and you have that platform to go out there and perform. The Irish coaches are watching and now this year, for the first time, it was televised as well. 

 

“There’s huge potential there now to be spotted through the province(Connacht).”

 

The back, who balances her rugby career with camogie – where she is a goalkeeper – and her job as a cafe manager was grateful that her first Irish cap happened in a time when fans were allowed into stadiums after more than a year of empty stands due to covid restrictions. 

 

Touhey was involved in an Irish training camp last year, but was released back to her club without earning a cap, but this set-back only made her more hungry to represent her country.

 

To be able to sing the national anthem, knowing that her parents and fiance were there to see it in person, was an extremely proud moment for the Tullamore native, whose long-term goal was to play international rugby. 

 

“That was one thing I always dreamed of in the year I was in there training(with Ireland), I always said to myself that ‘if I ever get my first cap, I would love it to be in front of my parents, my fiance and my friends and family,” she said.

 

“I do count myself as one of the lucky ones, to be able to experience that and experience seeing them in front of me when I was singing the national anthem. 

 

“It was highly emotional for me, so I do count myself very lucky that, in covid times, I got to have them there. I got to see them afterward and have all the pictures taken. I count myself very lucky in that sense. It was amazing.”

 

Primarily operating as an inside centre for club and country, Touhey relishes the attacking style of play at Connacht – the same attacking and progressive mentality played by the men’s and underage teams – and she feels it suits her best characteristics as a rugby player. 

 

The Tullamore RFC player enjoys getting her hands on the ball and bringing other players into play with offloads, which is a trait she admires in Connacht’s – both men’s and women’s – game plan. 

 

“Yeah, I definitely think it suits me,” she says of the tactics devised by Ross Mannion, the women’s senior head coach, and his team of coaches and also employed across the club at all grades. 

 

“I wouldn’t be a mad kicker or anything like that, but I enjoy offloading. Even if you watch the men’s team at the moment, their offloading is unbelievable. As a player, I find if I get in behind the gain line, and you’re on my shoulder I’ll give you the ball. 

 

“That style of play – which Connacht are playing at the minute – that’s what I like. Break the gain line, offload and keep going until you get to the try line.”

 

Having started rugby at seventeen, Touhey spent time playing on the sevens’ circuit before being recommended for Connacht trials by her Tullamore team-mate, and Connacht player, Jill Draper. 

 

The back initially didn’t make the grade, but she didn’t feel deterred and she was eventually called back into the fold with the Westerners and is now keen to add to her fifteen appearances with the province after debuting in 2017. 

 

“She(Jill Draper) said ‘look, I’m telling you, Connacht are a big family and I think you’ll do really well there,” the Offaly woman said of her team-mate encouraging her to pursue a chance with the Western province. 

 

“I trialed and didn’t make it, but a few weeks later they called. They had an injury – and I guess Jill put in a good word for me – so they gave me a shot. 

 

“JP(Walsh) and Gav Foley were the coaches at the time and gave me my shot and called me in. Lo and behold, the interpros started and there was an injury, so they said ‘look, Shannon, we’re going to start you against Leinster’ and that’s where it began.”

 

Many more appearances in both shades of green will sure to be to follow for the multi-talented Offaly native. 

There’s a strong Connacht contingent in the Ireland squad for the return of the Guinness Six Nations later this month.
 
Six players from the province are named in Andy Farrell’s 35 player squad, with Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan retaining their place after they were named in the initial Six Nations squad before the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
There’s also a return to the Ireland setup for Finlay Bealham, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion and Quinn Roux with the quartet showing some impressive form since the return of rugby.
 
The squad which will be captained by Johnny Sexton contains six uncapped players – Ryan Baird, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Shane Daly, Hugo Keenan and Jamison Gibson Park. While Baird and Connors have been involved in national camps before it will be a first time with the national squad for the other uncapped players.
 
In addition Harry Byrne, Craig Casey, James Lowe, James Tracy and Fineen Wycherley will train with the squad next week at IRFU High Performance Centre in Dublin. Ireland take on Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 24th October before facing France in Paris the following Saturday (31st).
 
Ireland currently sit fourth on the Six Nations table one point behind Scotland and 4 points behind England and France who have all played an extra game. Back in February Ireland recorded wins over Scotland (19-12) and Wales (24-12) before losing to England (12-24) at Twickenham.
 
Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell commented, “There has been a huge effort right across Irish Rugby to ensure that the professional game could return safely and that work is greatly appreciated by the national management. We have protocols in place to safeguard the welfare of the players and staff and are looking forward to completing the Six Nations Championships.
 
We have two competitions to play in over the coming months but will focus first on a strong finish to the 6 Nations Championships. The return to rugby has not been without its challenges as some players have suffered injury setbacks and there has been limited playing opportunities ahead of a busy and exciting international window. We will be closely monitoring the form and fitness of players competing in the Guinness PRO14 over the coming weeks.

 
Ireland Squad 2020 Guinness 6 Nations Championships Round 4 & 5
 
Backs (16)
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 26 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
Jack Carty (Connacht/Buccaneers) 10 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 21 caps
Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Con) uncapped
Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster) 9 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) uncapped
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 43 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) uncapped
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 24 caps
Kieran Marmion (Connacht/Corinthians) 27 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 3 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 81 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 29 caps
Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 91 caps CAPTAIN
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 28 caps
 
Forwards (19)
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) uncapped
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Corinthians) 9 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) uncapped
Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) uncapped
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 17 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/UCD) 2 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 98 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 1 cap
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 55 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 11 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 3 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 67 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
Quinn Roux (Connacht/Galwegians) 12 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
John Ryan (Munster/Cork Constitution) 21 caps
CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 41 caps
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 26 caps
 
Training with Squad w/c 12th October
Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) uncapped
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
James Lowe (Leinster) uncapped
James Tracy (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
Fineen Wycherley (Munster/Young Munster) uncapped

The IRFU, Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster Rugby, in agreement and partnership with Rugby Players Ireland and its members, have today agreed a payment deferral model for all employees.
 
These deferrals, based on an equitable sliding scale which ranges from 10% – 50%, will be effective from April, and beyond if required, but will remain subject to constant review of the financial circumstances of the IRFU and Provinces.
 
The IRFU hopes to return to full pay, and repay any deferrals, as soon as possible.
 
IRFU CEO Philip Browne said,
 
“We are entering uncharted waters as the Covid-19 crisis continues to unfold but we remain hopeful that something of this season can be retrieved later in summer. This is important as the whole game, amateur and professional, is financially dependent on the resumption of the professional tournaments and the revenues that they generate. With postponement of these tournaments the IRFU and the Provinces are facing some daunting financial challenges around loss of revenue and cash flow and we must cut our costs.
 
The IRFU has worked closely with our provincial colleagues and our partners in Rugby Players Ireland to move to protect the future of Irish Rugby and this arrangement will allow Irish Rugby the breathing space required in relation to cashflow that can ensure that when this crisis abates, we still have a business that can deliver for all those that play and love rugby. The situation will obviously remain under continuous review in case further action is required.
 
I thank all our partners, Rugby Players Ireland and all our employees for standing with us at this time.”

 
RPI CEO Simon Keogh said,
 
“We recognise the need to work with the IRFU with respect to these payment deferrals in light of the current circumstances. All endeavours have been made to contact those affected on an individual basis. Our members appreciate that such moves are necessary in order to protect the future of the game in this country. The health and safety of the public is the priority at this time. We will continue to work with the IRFU as this situation develops.”

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named the match day 23 to travel to London to take on England at Twickenham on Sunday 23rd February.
 
Captain Johnny Sexton is named in the half-backs alongside Conor Murray. Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw start their ninth Test match as the midfield partnership.
 
Jordan Larmour lines out at fullback with Andrew Conway and Jacob Stockdale on the wings.
 
Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Tadhg Furlong start a third consecutive Test match with Iain Henderson and James Ryan in the row. CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier make up the backrow combination.
 
The replacements on Saturday are Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Caelan Doris, John Cooney, Ross Byrne and Keith Earls.
 
Tom O Toole and Will Addison will return to Ulster to prepare for their Guinness PRO14 game against the Cheetahs with the rest of the non-matchday 23 remaining in camp for the team’s final training session on Friday.
 
England v IRELAND, Twickenham Stadium, Sunday 23rd February 2020, KO 15.00
2020 Guinness Six Nations Championships
 
15. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 23 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 20 caps
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 42 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 25 caps
11. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 27 caps
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 90 caps CAPTAIN
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 80 caps

1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 97 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 10 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 43 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 55 caps
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 25 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 66 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 25 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 40 caps

Replacements:
16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 2 caps
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 38 caps
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 25 caps
19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 69 caps
20. Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 1 cap
21. John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 10 caps
22. Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps
23. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 83 caps

Bundee Aki has continued his remarkable run of starting every Six Nations game for Ireland since becoming eligible to play for the country.
 
He’s been named at inside-centre for Saturday’s clash with Wales at the Aviva, making it 12 straight starts in the competition for the Connacht man.
 
Aki made his debut in 2017 November internationals and this weekend will see him line out for the 25th time in the green of Ireland.
 
There are two changes to the starting XV from the Scotland game and one uncapped player included in the replacements.
 
In the back-row Peter O’Mahony comes in for Caelan Doris who was injured in the early minutes of the game last Saturday. CJ Stander reverts to No. 8 with Josh van der Flier named at openside.
 
Iain Henderson and James Ryan start in the second row and the front row is unchanged with Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Tadhg Furlong all named.
 
Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton will both reach significant milestones this weekend with the scrumhalf set to win his 80th and the captain winning his 90th cap.
 
The hand injury picked up by Garry Ringrose means that Robbie Henshaw will partner Aki in the centre.
 
The back three of Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway and Jordan Larmour is also unchanged.
 
The uncapped Max Deegan is included in the replacements which also sees the return of Keith Earls.
 
Ronan Kelleher, who won his first cap off the bench against Scotland, is named alongside Andrew Porter and Dave Kilcoyne, subject to him completing his Return To Play protocols this week.
 
Devin Toner, John Cooney and Ross Byrne complete the 23.
 
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Wales, 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, February 8, kick-off 2:15pm):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 22 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 19 caps
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 41 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 24 caps
11. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 26 caps
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 89 caps Captain
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 79 caps
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 96 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 9 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 42 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 54 caps
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 24 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 65 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 24 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 38 caps

Replacements:
16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 1 cap
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 37 caps
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 24 caps
19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 68 caps
20. Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 0 caps
21. John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 9 caps
22. Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
23. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 82 caps

Connacht Academy player Oran McNulty has been named at full-back for Ireland’s U20 Six Nations opener against Scotland tomorrow night.
 
McNulty, who is in Year 2 of the Academy system, is one of four Connacht players in the overall Six Nations squad alongside Joshua Dunne, Diarmuid Kilgallen and Cathal Forde.
 
Ulster Academy back row David McCann will captain Ireland as one of five players who featured during last season’s Grand Slam-winning campaign named in McNamara’s first starting XV of the Championship, alongside Charlie Ward, Thomas Clarkson, Brian Deeny and Thomas Ahern.
 
There is a wealth of experience in the pack with Clontarf loosehead Ward and Ulster hooker Tom Stewart packing down in the front row alongside Leinster Academy tighthead and vice captain Clarkson, who started all five of last year’s Six Nations games.
 
Deeny and towering Munster Academy lock Ahern are named in the second row with Sean O’Brien and Mark Hernan joining captain McCann in the back row to complete the pack, with a further three Ulster players named in the backline.
 
Lewis Finlay starts at scrum-half and continues his exciting half-back partnership with Cork Constitution out-half Jack Crowley, who pulled the strings for Ireland Under-20s in their defeat of Munster Development over Christmas.
 
Ulster Academy centre Hayden Hyde and Dan Kelly, who has come through the IQ Rugby programme, are selected in midfield, with Connacht’s Oran McNulty, Ethan McIlroy and Leinster winger Andrew Smith forming the back three.
 
Hooker John McKee won seven caps during last season’s Six Nations and U20 World Championship campaigns and is the sixth returning player named in Friday’s matchday 23, as he provides front row cover alongside Ciaran Ryan and Ryan McMahon.
 
Joe McCarthy and Alexis Soroka will hope to make a big impact off the bench if called upon, while Ben Murphy, Tim Corkery and Luis Faria complete McNamara’s first selection of the 2020 season.
 
“The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas,” McNamara said. “We had an excellent camp last week in Cork and are looking forward to the challenge that Scotland will bring this Friday night.
 
“Getting back down to Irish Independent Park is exciting for all involved. It’s a fantastic venue, a really fast surface and we’re ready to get the campaign underway in front of a partisan home crowd.”
 
Tickets for Friday night’s visit of Scotland to Irish Independent Park are available here.
 
Ireland Under-20 Team (v Scotland):
15. Oran McNulty (Millfield School / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
14. Ethan McIlroy (Methody College / Queens RFC / Ulster)
13. Dan Kelly (Kirkham Grammar / Loughborogh University / IQ Rugby)
12. Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
11. Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
10. Jack Crowley (Bandon RFC / Cork Constitution FC / Munster)
9. Lewis Finlay (Down High School / Malone RFC / Ulster)

1. Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
2. Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
4. Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
5. Thomas Ahern (Waterpark RFC / Shannon RFC / Munster)
6. Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
7. Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. David McCann (RBAI / Banbridge RFC / Ulster)(captain)

Replacements:

16. John McKee (Campbell College / Old Belvedere / Leinster)
17. Ciaran Ryan (Rockwell College / Cashel RFC / Munster)
18. Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
19. Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
20. Alexis Soroka (Belvedere College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
21. Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
22. Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
23. Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive / Dublin University FC / Leinster)

More at https://www.irishrugby.ie/2020/01/30/mcnamara-names-ireland-under-20-team-for-six-nations-opener/

Bundee Aki will make his 24th appearance for Ireland this weekend after he was named at inside-centre for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations opener with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.
 
Former Ireland U20 Captain Caelan Doris will make his Ireland debut on Saturday evening when he lines out at No. 8. The Leinster man is joined in the backrow by CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier.
 
The front row is made up of Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Tadgh Furlong with Iain Henderson and James Ryan named at lock
 
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton is joined at half-back by Conor Murray. Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose are named in the centre with Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Conway on the wings. Jordan Larmour is named at full-back.
 
The other uncapped player is Ronan Kelleher (pictured below with Rob Herring) who is named as the replacement hooker. Kelleher is joined in the replacements by Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Peter O’Mahony, John Cooney, Ross Byrne and Robbie Henshaw.
 

Ireland Team & Replacements (v Scotland, Guinness Six Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday 1st February 2020, KO 16.45)

15. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 21 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 18 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 28 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 23 caps
11. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 25 caps
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 88 caps Captain
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 78 caps

1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 95 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 8 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 41 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 53 caps
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
6. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 38 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
8. Caelan Doris (UCD/Leinster)*

Replacements:
16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 36 caps
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 23 caps
19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 67 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 64 caps
21. John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 8 caps
22. Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 3 caps
23. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 40 caps

*Denotes uncapped at this level

IRELAND Guinness Six Nations 2020 Fixtures & Kick-off Times

IRELAND v Scotland
Saturday 1st February, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 16:45
IRELAND v Wales
Saturday 8th February, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 14:15
England v IRELAND
Sunday 23rd February, 2020, Twickenham Stadium, KO 15:00
IRELAND v Italy
Saturday 7th March, 2020, Aviva Stadium, KO 14:15
France v IRELAND
Saturday 14th March, 2020, Stade de France, KO 20:00

Ireland Women’s Head Coach Adam Griggs has named a squad of 24 ahead of their test match against Wales this Sunday (10th November, kick-off 1pm)
 
The Squad are fresh off the back of two training weekends in Scotland and in France where they had games against their Scottish and French counterparts.
 
Griggs has named six uncapped in the squad, Leinster’s Judy Bobbett, Victoria Dabanovich O’Mahony, Hannah O’Connor, Katie O’Dwyer and Niamh Ní Dhroma along with Ireland 7s International and Munster’s Dorothy Wall.
 
Speaking ahead of the game, Griggs said “The camps in Scotland and France were invaluable, it gave us a chance to get quality time together as a squad and feed more information in to the players about how we want to go about playing and performing this season.
 
We were able to travel with a larger playing panel for each camp which gave all the players named in our initial squad the opportunity to put their hand up for selection which has driven our standards and made sure there’s been high quality competition for places in this test match squad named.
 
Ultimately we have picked a strong squad with a good mix of youth and experience who we feel can go out and deliver against Wales.”
 
Ireland Women’s Squad to play Wales Women (Women’s International, Sunday 10th November 2019, Kick-off 1pm)
Judy Bobbett (Blackrock College/ Leinster) *
Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Anna Caplice (Harlequins/IQ)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Victoria Dabanovich O’Mahony (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)
Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Laura Feely (Galweigians/ Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Edel McMahon (Wasps/Connacht)
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ)
Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Leinster)
Ellen Murphy (Gloucester-Hartpury/ IQ)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/ Leinster) *
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/ Leinster) *
Anne-Marie O’Hora (Galweigians/ Connacht)
Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/ Connacht)
Dorothy Wall (Fethard/ Munster) *
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Niamh Ní Dhroma (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *

November Internationals Fixture:
Ireland Women v Wales Women
The Bowl, UCD, Dublin.
Sunday 10th November 2019
KO: 1.00pm

A squad of 26 players has been named by Ireland Women’s head coach Adam Griggs ahead of their training camp in Scotland this weekend.
 
The Ireland Women are traveling to Edinburgh for a weekend training camp which will culminate with a training game against their Scottish counterparts on Sunday afternoon.
 
Speaking ahead of the trip, Griggs said:
 
We’re really looking forward to this weekend’s camp and the next few weeks ahead leading into our Test match against Wales. Each player included in the squad has been selected on their form through the Interprovincial Championship and the English Premiership.
 
“As well as having a larger squad to travel and play, this will give the coaching group a chance to look at different combinations and give the players a great opportunity to test themselves at an international level and see how they handle the step up in pace and intensity.
 
“We also have two new coaches on board this year, who have added real quality to the work Jeff Carter and Mike Ross have started with this group.
 
“Steven McGuinness, who works full-time with IQ Rugby, is our new forwards coach, and Kieran Hallett, who is with Leinster as an EPDO, has come in as our defence coach. It’s great to see the professionalism of the new coaches and the value they have brought to the players.”

 
This is the first of two away training camps and training matches the national side will undertake, with the squad traveling to France next week, ahead of their clash with Wales at the UCD Bowl on Sunday, November 10 (kick-off 1pm).
 
IRELAND WOMEN’S Squad (Training Camp, Edinburgh, Scotland, October 26-27, 2019):
Judy Bobbett (Blackrock/Leinster) *
Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Anna Caplice (Harlequins/IQ Rugby)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)
Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Laura Feely (Galweigians/Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt)
Mary Healy (Lindenwood University/IQ Rugby) *
Edel McMahon (Wasps/Connacht)
Grace Miller (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)
Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Leinster)
Ellen Murphy (Gloucester/IQ Rugby)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock/Leinster) *
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster) *
Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Connacht)
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Juliet Short (Railway Union/Leinster)
Shannon Touhey (Tullamore/Connacht) *
Dorothy Wall (Fethard & District/Munster) *

* Denotes uncapped player at this level

IRELAND WOMEN’S SCHEDULE – KEY DATES:

October 26-27: Training Camp & Game, Scotland

November 2-3: Training Camp & Game, France

Sunday, November 10: Ireland Women v Wales Women, UCD Bowl, 1pm – click here to buy tickets

2020 Women’s Six Nations Championship:

Sunday, February 2: Ireland Women v Scotland Women, Energia Park, 1pm

Sunday, February 9: Ireland Women v Wales Women, Energia Park, 1pm

Sunday, February 23: England Women v Ireland Women, Castle Park, Doncaster, 12.45pm

Sunday, March 8: Ireland Women v Italy Women, Energia Park, 1pm

Sunday, March 15: France Women v Ireland Women, Le Stadium Villeneuve d’Acsq, Lille, 4.35pm local time/3.35pm Irish time

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