Three Offaly women to start for Ireland in Six Nations opener

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Three Offaly players have been named to start for the Ireland Women's Rugby team to play England in their Six Nations opener at Energia Park this weekend.

Nichola Fryday returns to the second row while Michelle Claffey is named at centre and Ailsa Hughes is picked to line out at scrum-half for the highly-anticipated contest.

There are three uncapped players named among the replacements hoping to get their first international run-out, including Linda Djougang, Anne Marie O’Hora and Kathryn Dane, while Laois woman Alison Miller is also named amongst the substitutes.

Speaking ahead of the first test, head coach Adam Griggs said: “There’s no bigger challenge than to open the Six Nations against England, they are second in the world for a reason and are a very good side who challenge you in every part of the game."

"We had a good test against them in November and while we didn’t get the result, we showed some of the standards and improvements that are required to compete at this level which was a huge positive for us."

"We have had good preparations leading into this Friday and are looking for a strong performance to get the championship started in front of what we hope will be an amazing.”

Tickets for Ireland’s home games are available now via The takes place at Energia Park at 5pm on Friday.

Ireland Women’s Team v England Women:

15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
12. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
11. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
2. Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
6. Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) Capt


16. Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
17. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
18. Anne Marie O’Hora (Galwegians/ Connacht) *
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
21. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) *
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
23. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)

*Uncapped players