Head Coach Greg McWilliams has named  six Leinster Rugby players in his Ireland squad for Saturday’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash with Italy in Parma (kick-off 4.45pm – live on Virgin Media Two).

McWilliams has made three changes to the starting XV for the Round 3 clash at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, with Lauren Delany, Anna McGann and Leinster scrum-half Ailsa Hughes all starting in the Ireland backline.

Delany comes into the side at fullback in the back three alongside Aoife Doyle and Tash Behan, with McGann, who previously featured off the bench, joining Aoife Dalton in the midfield for her maiden Test start.

In the half backs, Hughes is selected at scrum-half for her first appearance of the Championship, partnering her Leinster team-mate Dannah O’Brien at out-half.

McWilliams has named an unchanged pack for the visit to Italy, with Leinster props Linda Djougang and Christy Haney joining Neve Jones in the front row. Captain Nichola Fryday partners Sam Monaghan in the second row, while Dorothy Wall, Grace Moore and Deirbhile Nic a Bháird are retained in the back row.

On the replacements bench, Leinster co-captain Hannah O’Connor and scrum-half Molly Scuffil-McCabe are set to feature.

Commenting ahead of the game, McWilliams said: “It has been a really good block of preparation for this game. We arrived in Parma yesterday afternoon following three days of hard work in Dublin, and the group have come back focused and energised after the down week.

“Saturday will be another stiff challenge for us against a side that reached the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup, but again it is one we are relishing as a group as it gives us the opportunity to continue our development in the Test arena.”

Ireland team to play Italy
15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) 19
14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster) 14
13. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
12. Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC/Connacht) 3
11. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 4
10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 17

1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 26
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster) 15
3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 7
4. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (capt) 31
5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) 12
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 18
7. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby) 7
8. Deirbhile Nic a Bháird (Old Belvedere RFC/Munster) 6

Replacements:
16. Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby) 1
17. Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry RFC/Cooke RFC/Ulster) 2
18. Kathryn Buggy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) 1
19. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 16
20. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) 12
21. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 6
22. Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/Ulster) 3
23. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) 4