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One change for Ireland, who also end exile of sub Cliodhna Moloney

By Liam Heagney
Ireland coach Scott Bemand after the loss to Italy (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland boss Scott Bemand has made one change to his starting XV for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations round three clash with Wales in Cork, with co-captain Edel McMahon restored to the team after her surprise omission in the 21-27 loss to Italy in Dublin.


The forward’s restoration in place of the absent Grace Moore is the only starting team alteration as Bemand has opted to keep faith with the run-on players he chose to take on the Italians, including Lauren Deleny who has recovered after she was taken away on a medical cart at the RDS.

However, it’s the two alterations that the coach has made to this weekend’s bench that most catch the eye. Hooker Neve Jones was asked to play the full 80 in round two as the Irish decided against springing bench back-up Sarah Delaney into the fray.

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

Jones, though, will now be covered in Cork by Cliodhna Moloney, the English-based Exeter front-rower who had been overlooked since her late 2021 rebuttal of criticism from former women’s rugby director Anthony Eddy.

The Australian had blamed the players for their failure to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, only for the hooker to describe the coach’s comments as “slurry spreading” and that the squad had lost all trust and confidence in the IRFU and its women’s game leadership.

Womens Six Nations
Ireland Women's
36 - 5
Wales Women's
All Stats and Data

Moloney’s recall is one of two changes to the forwards on the bench as the uncapped Shannon Ikahihifo of Ealing, who came through the Irish-qualified rugby pathway in the UK, has taken over from Eimear Corri.

In an IRFU media release, Bemand said: “This game is another opportunity for us to perform in front of our home support. We want to get the tide of support and noise behind us. The hard work has gone in and now we’re ready to go after that winning performance.”


Ireland (vs Wales, Saturday)
15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) 24 caps
14. Katie Corrigan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 2
13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC) 14
12. Enya Breen (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 18
11. Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) 23
10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 12
9. Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) 9
1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 34
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury) 23
3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 15
4. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 25
5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury) 19 Co-Captain
6. Aoife Wafer (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 4
7. Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs) 25 Co-Captain
8. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) 20

16. Cliodhna Moloney (Exeter Chiefs) 31
17. Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
18. Sadhbh McGrath (Cooke RFC/Ulster) 10
19. Fiona Tuite (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) 4
20. Shannon Ikahihifo (Ealing Trailfinders/IQ Rugby) Uncapped
21. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Leinster) 14
22. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians RFC/Connacht) 11
23. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 12



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Abe 1 hours ago
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Turlough 6 hours ago
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