Ireland team named to play France in Women’s Six Nations
March 30, 2023 1:10 pm Site Editor
Head Coach Greg McWilliams has named his Ireland team, for Saturday’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash against France at Musgrave Park (Kick-off 3.15pm, live on Virgin Media One).
McWilliams has made five changes to the starting XV for the visit of France to Cork, while there are two uncapped players named on the bench.
Leinster duo Dannah O’Brien and Christy Haney are named in the starting 15 for the first time in this campaign and are joined by Vicky Irwin, Grace Moore and Deirbhile Nic a Bháird
Clara Nielson and Kathryn Buggy come into the Match Day Squad and are in line to make their Ireland debuts off the bench.
The Ireland back three remains unchanged with Méabh Deely continuing at fullback and Aoife Doyle and Leinster’s Natasja Behan named on the wings. With Enya Breen ruled out of the remainder of the Championship through injury, Irwin comes into the midfield to partner Aoife Dalton.
O’Brien is promoted off the bench to make her first Six Nations start at out-half, with her Leinster team-mate Molly Scuffil-McCabe retained at scrum-half.
Up front, Leinster’s Linda Djougang switches to loosehead to pack down alongside Neve Jones and Haney. Captain Nichola Fryday and Sam Monaghan make up the second row pairing, with Dorothy Wall joined in the back row by Moore at openside flanker and Nic a Bháird at number eight.
Uncapped duo Nielson and Buggy are named among the replacements alongside Sadhbh McGrath, Leinster co-captain Hannah O’Connor and Brittany Hogan, while Nicole Cronin, Anna McGann – who is set for her first XVs appearance since last year’s Six Nations – and Lauren Delany provide the backline reinforcements.
Commenting ahead of the game, McWilliams said: “Last week was a disappointing start to the campaign for us but we turned the page quickly and were honest with ourselves. We know this journey is going to take time and require patience, and we are working hard as a group to learn those lessons and make positive progress every time we step on the field.
“Saturday is another opportunity for us to do that and returning to Musgrave Park is an exciting prospect for us all. The support of our home crowd, family and friends is so important to us, and with the backing of the Irish people, we can make strides in the right direction.”
Saturday’s match is live on Virgin Media One, BBC iPlayer and RTÉ Radio 1, with live updates across the Irish Rugby Twitter and Instagram channels. Tickets are available to purchase here.
Ireland Team v France (Caps in Brackets)
15. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) (3)
14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster) (13)
13. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) (3)
12. Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/Ulster) (2)
11. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (3)
10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) (3)
9. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) (5)
1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) (25)
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster) (14)
3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (6)
4. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (30) (Captain)
5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) (11)
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) (17)
7. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby) (6)
8. Deirbhile Nic a Bháird (Old Belvedere RFC/Munster) (5)
16. Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)*
17. Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry/Cooke RFC/Ulster) (1)
18. Kathryn Buggy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)*
19. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (15)
20. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) (11)
21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) (22)
22. Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC/Connacht) (2)
23. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) (18).