Niamh Briggs makes competitive return in new look Ireland side

The Ireland Women’s team has been named for the oepning match of the Women’s Six Nations against France in Satde Ernest Wallon on Saturday night.

Head Coach, Adam Griggs has included one new cap in the starting XV with Megan Williams coming into the side.

Williams is named in the back three alongside Kim Flood, at fullback, and Alison Miller on the opposite wing.

The match also marks the return to action of former captain Niamh Briggs after a long season out with injury. Briggs is named at outhalf and is partnered in the halfbacks by Ailsa Hughes.

Claire McLaughlin and Sene Naoupu make up the centre partnership.

In the pack Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Fiona Reidy make up the front row with Ciara Cooney and Orla Fitzsimons named in the second row.

Ciara Griffin starts at Number 8 with Claire Molloy and Anna Caplice on the flanks.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Griggs said, “The opening game of this tournament is always going to be a challenge and France in front of their home crowd is immense.

However, the squad have had good preparation over the last 2 weeks and are excited and focused on the challenge at hand to start our campaign off with a positive performance.”

Ireland Women Team & Replacements (v France Women, 2018 Womens 6 Nations Championship, Stade Ernst Wallon, Toulouse, Saturday, February 3, kick-off 9pm local time/8pm Irish time)

15 – Kim Flood (Railway Union/ Leinster)
14 – Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
13 – Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/ Ulster)
12 – Sene Naoupu (Railway Union/ Leinster)
11 – Alison Miller (Portloaise /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 – Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5 – Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s/ Leinster)
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 – Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/ Connacht)
20 – Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s/ Leinster)
21 – Mary Healy (Galwegians/ Connacht)
22 – Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/ Ulster)
23 – Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)

*denotes uncapped player at this level

Ireland Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2018
Saturday 3rd February 2018
France Women v Ireland Women, 9pm (local) / 8pm (GMT), Stade Ernst Wallon, Toulouse

Sunday 11th February 2018
Ireland Women v Italy Women, 1pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Sunday 25th February 2018
Ireland Women v Wales Women, 3pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Sunday 11th March 2018
Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 1pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Friday 16th March 2016
England Women v Ireland Women, 5.30pm, Ricoh Arena, Coventry

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