Ireland Women’s Head Coach Adam Griggs has named the Ireland Women’s team to take on their Italian counterparts on Sunday, 11th February, at Donnybrook Stadium for their first home game of the 2018 Women’s 6 Nations.

Griggs has made two changes to his first XV from their opening game against France last weekend.

Katie Fitzhenry, who was involved with the Ireland Women’s 7s side last weekend at the Sydney 7s comes into the side to partner Sene Naoupu in the centre.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged with Kim Flood starting at full back with Megan Williams and Alison Miller on the wings. Ailsa Hughes will again partner Niamh Briggs in the half-backs.

Paula Fitzpatrick moves from the replacements to start in the second row to partner Nichola Fryday.

The front-row remains the same, with hooker Cliodhna Moloney and props Lindsay Peat and Fiona Reidy all retained.

Flankers Anna Caplice and Claire Molloy will again join captain Ciara Griffin in the back-row.

Leinster’s Michelle Claffey could make her debut from the bench.

Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach Griggs said: “It was a very tough encounter in France last weekend. It’s always hard to go to their and get a result and while we were disappointed in some aspects of our execution, there was plenty to learn from and build on for this week.

“There were a number of new combinations and while that will take time to bed in we are focused on improving our performance for the first of three home games in Donnybrook.”

Tickets for the Ireland Women’s home games in Donnybrook are available now via www.ticketmaster.ie

The IRFU is offering a bus subsidy of up to €400 per club for private transport hire. For more information on the bus subsidy for the 2018 Women’s Six Nations, contact womensrugby@irfu.ie before purchasing tickets.

Ireland Women’s team

15. Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
14. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/Leinster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
10. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/Munster)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/Munster)
4. Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s/Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht)
6. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8. Ciara Griffin (Tralee/Munster) CAPTAIN

Replacements

16. Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
17. Laura Feely (Galweigians/Connacht)
18. Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht)
19. Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s/Leinster)
20. Edel McMahon (Galwegians/Connacht) *
21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
22. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/Leinster) *
23. Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster)

* Uncapped at this level

Ireland Women’s Six Nations Fixtures

Saturday, 3rd February
France Women 24 Ireland Women 0

Sunday, 11th February
Ireland Women v Italy Women, 1pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Sunday, 25th February
Ireland Women v Wales Women, 3pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Sunday, 11th March
Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 1pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Friday, 16th March
England Women v Ireland Women, 5.30pm, Ricoh Arena, Coventry