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Briggs misses out as Ireland name nine uncapped players for November

There are three ‘development players’ included in Adam Griggs’ selection.

IRELAND WOMEN HAVE included nine uncapped players in their extended squad for the November Tests against USA and England. 

Head coach Adam Griggs has named a 31-player squad featuring several new faces, including three promising ‘development players’, but there is no room for experienced back Niamh Briggs.

Niamh Briggs Briggs has missed out on selection. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Leinster’s Emma Hoban, Ellen Murphy and Juliet Short, Munster pair Enya Breen and Laura Sheehan, and IQ Rugby representative Lauren Delany are the six uncapped players named in the squad proper.

Also included are Connacht’s 17-year-old Aoibheann Reilly and 16-year-old Beibhinn Parsons, as well as Leinster’s 19-year-old Daisy Earl, the three of whom are listed as ‘development players’.

“This year we have included three development players into the panel,” said Griggs. “They are going to be fully immersed in the squad with an eye on fast-tracking their development and making sure in a year or two they will be ready to go at international level.

“In saying that, when they come in to compete with the other players in the squad, if they are doing their job well, they have every chance of being selected.”

Premiership players Claire Molloy, Cliodhna Moloney, Leah Lyons and Anna Caplice have been named in Ireland’s squad, while the inclusion of IQ Rugby and Firwood Waterloo’s uncapped Delany is an interesting move.

“We’re working closely with our colleagues in IQ Rugby and special mention must go to Wayne Mitchell who has helped us throughout our screening days over the summer, along with his and IQ Rugby’s continued support of the players which helps us to stay in contact with their clubs and monitor them to ensure we are up to date on their performances and wellbeing,” said Griggs.

The absence of the Grand Slam-winning Briggs is a surprise, particularly given that the out-half/fullback is not currently injured.

Griggs said he has set former Ireland captain Briggs a challenge to show her quality with club side UL Bohemians moving forward.

“Niamh Briggs has missed out on the squad at the moment,” said Griggs. “I sat down with her and we went over some performance goals for her moving forward. It’s one of those really difficult situations and conversations.

“You have to be open and honest about it. We set down some challenges for Niamh and she has every chance of coming back into selection for the Six Nations if she can go away and tick some of those boxes with the challenge that has been put in front of her.”

Ireland face the US at Donnybrook on Sunday 18 November, before travelling to Twickenham to take on England on Saturday 24 November.

Ireland Women squad for November Tests:

Enya Breen (Bantry Bay/ Munster) *
Anna Caplice (Richmond/IQ Rugby)
Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College RFC/ Leinster)
Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/IQ Rugby) *
Daisy Earl (Railway Union/ Leinster) *^
Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/ Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) 
Emma Hoban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster) *
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Leah Lyons (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby)
Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/ Ulster)
Edel McMahon (Galwegians/ Connacht) 
Sarah Mimnagh (Wasps/ IQ Rugby)
Claire Molloy (Wasps/ IQ Rugby) 
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby) 
Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 
Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe RFC/Connacht) *^ 
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster) 
Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 
Aoibheann Reilly (Ballinasloe RFC/Connacht) *^
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/ Munster) * 
Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster) *

* signifies uncapped 
^ signifies development player 

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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