Two Offaly women start for Ireland in crunch Six Nations clash against Wales
Head Coach of the Irish Women's international rugby team, Adam Griggs, has named his team to take on Wales in the third round of the Women's Six Nations in Donnybrook Stadium this Sunday, February 25.
Two Offaly women have retained their places in the starting 15 despite the boss making four changes to the team that overcame Italy 21-8 last time out.
Nichola Fryday keeps her place in the second row alongside Orla Fitzsimons, while Ailsa Hughes is the second Offaly women to keep her place, named to start at scrum-half. Michelle Claffey completes a trio for Offaly in the squad as she is named once again on the replacement bench.
Elsewhere in the team, Ciara O’Connor and Leah Lyons, who both featured off the bench in the opening rounds of the tournament, start alongside Lindsey Peat in the front row.
Paula Fitzpatrick moves to Number 8 to accommodate the change while captain Ciara Griffin moves to the blindside. Claire Molloy completes the back-row trio.
There is one change in the backline with Claire McLaughlin starting for the injured Alison Miller alongside Megan Williams and Kim Flood.
Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach, Griggs said, “We got a good boost after the win over Italy a fortnight ago. We did what we wanted to, played with tempo and moved the ball. While the performance was far from perfect, we set a marker down for the rest of the campaign."
"We now head into a tough test on Sunday against the Welsh. We are looking to rectify some of the areas of our game that we haven't been happy with over the past few weeks and if we can make those small changes, it should be a great one," he added.
"Having the crowd behind us against Italy really spurred us on, so we're hoping to see another big turnout of fans on Sunday in Donnybrook.”
Tickets for the Ireland Women's home games in Donnybrook are available now via www.ticketmaster.ie.
The Ireland team to face Wales:
15 - Kim Flood (Railway Union/ Leinster)
14 - Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
13 – Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
12 - Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
11 - Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/ Ulster)
10 - Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian / Munster)
9 - Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1 - Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster)
2 - Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/ Connacht)
3 - Leah Lyons (Highfield/ Munster)
4- Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary's/ Leinster)
5 - Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/ Connacht)
6 - Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/ Munster) Captain
7 - Claire Molloy (Bristol)
8 - Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's/ Leinster)
16- Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/ Leinster)
17 - Laura Feely (Galweigians/ Connacht)
18 - Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
19 – Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
20 – Edel McMahon (Galwegians/ Connacht)
21 – Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
22 – Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
23 – Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)