Women's Rugby World Cup: Claire Molloy named as Ireland captain
Women's Rugby World Cup hosts Ireland have named flanker Claire Molloy as captain for this month's tournament.
Molloy, who has won 53 caps, is set to appear in her third World Cup.
The 29-year-old takes over the captaincy from Niamh Briggs, who was ruled out with an Achilles injury.
"I'm incredibly humbled to be given the opportunity to captain my country, it's a massive honour to be selected to lead the team in a World Cup on home soil," said Molloy.
"I'm fortunate that I'll be surrounded by players with great experience, and I'm just really looking forward to pulling on the green jersey and running out with my team-mates."
The former Galway GAA player plays her club rugby with Bristol RFC in the UK, where she also works as a doctor.
She competed at the 2010 World Cup in England and the 2014 World Cup in France, and picked up Six Nations medals in 2013 and 2015.
|Ireland's Women's Rugby World Cup Pool C fixtures|
|Wednesday 9 August||Australia||UCD Bowl, Dublin (19:00 BST)|
|Sunday 13 August||Japan||UCD Bowl, Dublin (17:15 BST)|
|Thursday 17 August||France||UCD Bowl, Dublin (19:45 BST)|
Molloy has previous experience of leading her country, having captained Ireland during the 2013 Sevens World Cup in Russia.
"Claire is one of the most experienced players in the squad, and having competed at two previous World Cups, she's very much aware of the challenges that lie ahead," said Ireland head coach Tom Tierney.
"She has been one of the most outstanding performers for Ireland over the past number of seasons and has demonstrated her durability and consistency over the course of these campaigns.
"Since we began our World Cup preparations she has shown great leadership qualities and she thoroughly deserves the captaincy."
Ireland will take on Australia, Japan and France in their World Cup pool next month, with only the winners guaranteed a semi-final place.
The three pool winners will be joined by the best second-placed team in the semi-finals at Kingspan Stadium, with the final also taking place at the Ravenhill venue in Belfast.
Ireland women's World Cup squad
Forwards: Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College RFC/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster), Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Backs: Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Harlequins FC), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)