Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Back in green
Major boost for Ireland as former captain Claire Molloy returns from sabbatical
The Wasps back row has returned to the international fold.

IRELAND WOMEN HAVE been handed a major boost with confirmation that former captain Claire Molloy has returned to the squad after taking a sabbatical from international rugby for the past year.

69-times capped back row Molloy’s outstanding quality is a significant addition for Ireland ahead of the restart of the postponed 2020 Six Nations next month and, more importantly, for the final World Cup qualifying competition in December.

Head coach Adam Griggs’ squad face Italy and France in the Six Nations next month but the remainder of this year is all about securing a place at the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand.

claire-molloy Tommy Dickson / INPHO Molloy is a former Ireland captain. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Ireland will face Italy, Scotland, and most likely Spain in that qualifying competition on 5, 12 and 19 December, with the winner advancing to the World Cup next year.

Before that, Ireland resume their Six Nations campaign, with Molloy part of a 34-player squad confirmed by Griggs today and the uncapped trio of Shannon Touhey, Neve Jones, and Katie O’Dwyer also included.

Unfortunately, Ireland will be without lock Aoife McDermott, and back rows Edel McMahon and Claire McLaughlin for the Six Nations games after they were ruled out through injury.

32-year-old Molloy, who plays club rugby with Wasps in England, took a sabbatical in August of last year to focus on her medical career but will rejoin the squad for a two-day training camp at the IRFU’s high performance centre at the National Sports Campus this weekend.

Ireland face Italy at Energia Park on Sunday 25 October before travelling to Lille to take on France on Sunday 1 November.

Ireland squad for Six Nations:

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Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)
Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
Aoife Doyle (Railway Union/Munster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire Keohane (Railway Union/Munster)
Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Leinster)
Ellen Murphy (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Beibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College/Connacht)
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Shannon Touhey (Suttonians/Connacht)*
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)


Judy Bobbett (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Anna Caplice (Harlequins/IQ Rugby)
Ciara Cooney (Wasps /IQ Rugby)
Victoria Dabanovich O’Mahony (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)*
Leah Lyons (Harlequins/IQ Rugby)
Claire Molloy (Wasps /IQ Rugby)
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster)*
Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/Munster)

* denotes uncapped player.

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