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Billy Stickland/INPHO Katie Fitzhenry, pictured here scoring a try at the Women's World Cup last year, returns to the team.
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Ireland centre returns from 7s duty to be named in Women's Six Nations team
Katie Fitzhenry is back for Sunday’s meeting with Italy in Donnybrook.

IRELAND WOMEN’S HEAD coach Adam Griggs has made three changes to his team for this weekend’s Six Nations meeting with Italy.

Having suffered a 24-0 defeat to the French in their opening fixture, Ireland will look to bounce back at Donnybrook on Sunday (1pm).

Coming in to partner Sene Naoupu at centre is Katie Fitzhenry, who featured for Ireland at the Sydney 7s last weekend, with Claire McLaughin dropping to the bench.

The other two switches in personnel see Paula Fitzpatrick and Nichola Fryday replace Ciara Cooney and Orla Fitzsimons as second row partners.

Meanwhile, uncapped pair Edel McMahon and Michelle Claffey are among the substitutes.

“It was a very tough encounter in France last weekend,” said Griggs, ahead of the game.

It’s always hard to go to there and get a result and while we we’re disappointed in some aspects of our execution, there was plenty to learn from and build on for this week.

“There were a number of new combinations and while that will take time to bed in we are focused on improving our performance for the first of three home games in Donnybrook.”

The Italians were beaten 42-7 by England last time out.

Ireland (v Italy)

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. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere /Connacht)
10. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian / Munster)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/ Leinster)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
4. Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s/ Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/ Connacht)
6. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht)
8. Ciara Griffin (Tralee/ Munster) Captain

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16. Leah Lyons (Highfield/ Munster)
17. Laura Feely (Galweigians/ Connacht)
18. Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/ Connacht)
19. Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s/ Leinster)
20. Edel McMahon (Galwegians/ Connacht)
21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
22. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
23. Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/ Ulster)

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