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Ireland change four as they look to end winless Six Nations run

By Liam Heagney
The Ireland women's team line up last year versus Scotland (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scott Bemand has made four changes to his Ireland team for Sunday’s round two Guinness Six Nations match at home to Italy. The Irish opened their campaign with a 17-38 loss to France last weekend in Le Mans, a display where they received kudos for their defensive improvement.

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Now last season’s wooden spoon side – whose last win in the competition came in 2022’s round five game at home to Scotland in Belfast – are looking to build on that encouraging performance by making two alterations to the backs and two more in the pack with the Italians visiting the Dublin RDS.

Dannah O’Brien is this week’s out-half, earning promotion from the replacements with Nicole Fowley dropping to the bench.

Video Spacer

England Women’s coach John Mitchell on the Red Roses squad

Video Spacer

England Women’s coach John Mitchell on the Red Roses squad

There is also a switch at inside centre with Enya Breen making her return to international action for the first time since picking up an injury in last year’s opening round against Wales. Aoife Dalton will be a sub on this occasion.

In the forwards, the fit-again Sam Monaghan has been named to skipper from the second row, with Hannah O’Connor missing out, while the back row alteration sees sub Grace Moore promoted with Edel McMahon absent.

Fixture
Womens Six Nations
Ireland Women's
21 - 27
Full-time
Italy Women's
All Stats and Data

Head coach Bemand said in an IRFU media release: “Last week we saw progression but know we have got to keep going after on-pitch performance. We have made some changes to the side from last week and this reflects the competition that is building in the squad.

“Momentum is building within the squad through training and I’m confident that the players will give the fans something to get behind. We are expecting a tough challenge from an ambitious Italy team. It should make for a real occasion to showcase our game.”

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Ireland (vs Italy, Sunday)
15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
14. Katie Corrigan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
12. Enya Breen (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
11. Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
9. Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury)
3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
4. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury) Captain
6. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)
7. Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
8. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)

Replacements:
16. Sarah Delaney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
17. Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
18. Sadhbh McGrath (Cooke RFC/Ulster)
19. Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
20. Eimear Corri (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
21. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Leinster)
22. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)
23. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

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