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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Leinster and Meath football starlet set for Ireland debut as Griggs names XV to face Wales

Judy Bobbett is the one uncapped player named for the squad’s ‘first marker’.

Judy Bobbett (right) at last August's Women’s Under 18 Series Launch.
Judy Bobbett (right) at last August's Women’s Under 18 Series Launch.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

LEINSTER YOUNGSTER JUDY Bobbett will earn her first Ireland senior cap on Sunday, as she was named to start in Adam Griggs’ side to face Wales in their home November Test.

Head coach Griggs announced his XV today for the UCD Bowl clash [KO 1pm, live on Irish Rugby channels] with Bobbett the only uncapped player in the starting side. 

It’s been a memorable few months for the teen, who earned her first Leinster senior cap in August. Also a talented Gaelic football goalkeeper and 2018 Meath minor captain, the Blackrock star joins Nichola Fryday in the second row.

Another hugely promising youngster, Beibhinn Parsons, will make her second start for Ireland just weeks from her 18th birthday. 

Fit-again Wasps ace Cliodhna Moloney returns at hooker for her first international appearance since the 2018 Six Nations. She’s flanked by props Laura Feely and Linda Djougang, while the back row is more experienced in Anna Caplice, captain Ciara Griffin and Edel McMahon.

adam-griggs Adam Griggs with his side in March. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Ballinasloe’s Parsons starts alongside Eimear Considine and Lauren Delaney, while Leinster’s 2019 Interpro-winning captain Sene Naoupu is partnered by Enya Breen in midfield.

Ellen Murphy makes her first start in the 10 jersey a year on from her international debut, and she’ll combine with lively Munster scrum-half Nicole Cronin. 

There could be a further four debuts made tomorrow with Leinster quartet Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony, Katie O’Dwyer, Niamh Ni Dhroma and Hannah O’Connor all named on the bench. 

“Sunday is the first marker for our squad with an exciting and challenging season ahead,” Griggs said ahead of Sunday’s showdown in Belfield. “We have had some good training games and preparation so it’s now time to put that into action with a strong performance.

poster Source: IRFU.

“This week sees a step up in intensity as is required from our players as they play this home Test match in front of friends, family and supporters.

“Our focus is starting off with a fast start and showing the progress that has been made over the last 6 weeks in camp. While it is great to have a core of experienced players, we know we will need the entire squad to step up show what they can do.”

Ireland Women

15. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster)
14. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby)
13. Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
11. Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Connacht)
10. Ellen Murphy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)
9. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)

1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)
3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Nichola Fryday (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
5. Judy Bobbett (Blackrock/Leinster) *
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt)
7. Edel McMahon (Wasps/Connacht)
8. Anna Caplice (Harlequins/IQ Rugby)


16. Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster) *
18. Anne-Marie O’Hora (Galwegians/Connacht)
19. Niamh Ni Dhroma (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
20. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock/Leinster) *
21. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)
22. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Leinster)
23. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster).

We thought there might be a post-World Cup comedown, but then Saracens went and Saracened. Andy Dunne joins Sean Farrell and Gavan Casey as the pod segues from the international to club season.

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Emma Duffy

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