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Ireland Women head to Italy with six uncapped players in matchday squad

Jenny Murphy and Jackie Shiels form a new centre partnership.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LEINSTER’S HANNAH TYRELL will make her international debut in Ireland Women’s opening Six Nations clash away to Italy on Friday (KO 18.00).

Tyrell is one of six uncapped players in Tom Tierney’s first matchday squad, but the only one to make the starting XV.

With high profile retirements of centres Grace Davitt and Lynne Cantwell, the midfield roles are filled by Richmond’s Jackie Shiels and Jenny Murphy, who provided a powerful impact off the bench during last summer’s World Cup.

Ruth O’Reilly fills the loosehead jersey vacated by captain Fiona Coghlan. Grand Slam-winning scrum-half Larissa Muldoon is reinstated as Nora Stapleton’s half-back partner with Tania Rosser on the bench.

Alongside the 53-times capped playmaker are five hoping to make their debut at some point in Italy. The quintet includes Galwegians back Sene Naoupu (wife of Connacht number eight George), Katie Fitzhenry, Katie Norris, Fiona O’Brien and Sarah Mimnagh.

Ireland Women (v Italy. Friday, KO 19.00 in Stadio Mario Lodigani, 18.00GMT):

15 – Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/ Munster) (Capt) 45
14 – Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 0
13 – Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 17
12 – Jackie Shiels (Richmond/ Exiles) 12
11 – Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht) 22
10 – Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 28
9 – Larissa Muldoon (Skewen RFC) 24
1 – Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/ Connacht) 3
2 – Gillian Bourke (Olympico de Pozuelo RFC) 46
3 – Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 22
4 – Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 34
5 – Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 20
6 – Paula Fitzpatrick (St Marys/ Leinster) 12
7 – Claire Molloy (Bristol/ Connacht) 36
8 – Heather O’Brien (Highfield/ Munster) 17

Replacements:

16 – Sarah Mimnagh (Wasps/Exiles) 0
17 – Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 5
18 – Fiona O’Brien (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 0
19 – Orla Fitzsimons (St Marys/ Leinster) 2
20 – Katie Norris (Blackrock / Leinster) 0
21 – Tania Rosser (Blackrock/ Leinster) 53
22 – Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/ Leinster) 0
23 – Sene Naoupu (Galwegians/Connacht) 0

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Sean Farrell

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