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Ireland name 32-Player Squad For TikTok Women's Six Nations

By Lucy Lomax
Belfast , United Kingdom - 30 April 2022; Ireland players celebrate as Enya Breen scores her side's second try during the Tik Tok Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Scotland at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By John Dickson/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland Women’s Head Coach Greg McWilliams has today named a 32-player Ireland squad for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, with the 2023 tournament creeping closer, kicking off on Saturday 25th March.

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Eight uncapped players have been included in the squad following the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship and the recently concluded Celtic Challenge tournament.

Uncapped forwards Niamh O’Dowd, Sadhbh McGrath, Fiona Tuite and Molly Boyne are named after impressing for the Combined Provinces XV during Ireland’s unbeaten Celtic Challenge campaign, while uncapped IQ Rugby duo Kathryn Buggy and Clara Neilson are also included.

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There are two uncapped backs in the squad, including Harlequins scrum-half Emma Swords and Ella Roberts who was another star of the Celtic Challenge campaign.

Exeter Chiefs’ Nichola Fryday will once again skipper the side from the second row.

Ireland open their Championship with two tough fixtures, kicking off their campaign against Wales away at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, 25 March (kick-off 2.15pm), before facing France at Musgrave Park in Cork on Saturday 1st April (kick-off 3.15pm).

They then face Italy away in Parma, England at home in Cork and finish the tournament against Scotland at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh on Saturday 29th April (kick-off 7.30pm).

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Head Coach McWilliams has confirmed his coaching team for the 2023 Championship with Niamh Briggs (Backs Coach) and Denis Fogarty (Scrum Coach) continuing in their roles alongside John McKee (Senior Coach).

Ireland Squad:

Forwards (18):
Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)*
Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry/Cooke RFC/Ulster)*
Kathryn Buggy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)*
Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster)
Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)*
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere RFC/Munster)
Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (Captain)
Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)
Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)*
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)
Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht)
Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)
Molly Boyne (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)*

Backs (14):
Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Emma Swords (Harlequins/IQ Rugby)*
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
Enya Breen (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)
Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)
Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/Ulster)
Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster)
Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Ella Roberts (Wicklow RFC/Leinster)*
Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)

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Flankly 3 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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