Women's Six Nations: Uncapped trio named in Ireland squad

Niamh Briggs with the Six Nations trophy
Niamh Briggs will lead Ireland into a Women's Six Nations for the second time
Women's Six Nations
Venue: Various Dates: 5 February-20 March
Coverage: Weekly round-ups of the tournament on BBC TV, coverage on BBC Sport website.

Ireland women's coach Tom Tierney has named three uncapped players in his squad for Saturday's Six Nations opener against Wales at Donnybrook Stadium.

Leinster winger Elise O'Byrne-White and Munster hooker Zoe Grattage will win their first caps, with flanker Ciara Griffin named among the replacements.

In all, the defending champions have 10 players who will be involved in a Six Nations fixture for the first time.

Ireland lost 15-5 to Wales in a warm-up fixture two weeks ago.

The Irish squad features seven players who won made their first appearances in last November's autumn international against England, with Aine Donnelly and Mairead Coyne included in the starting line-up.

Ireland's Women's Six Nations
Wales (home)6 February, 13:00 GMT
France (away)13 February, 20:00 GMT
England (away)27 February, 19:15 BST
Italy (home)13 March, 13:00 GMT
Scotland (home)20 March, 13:00 GMT

Cliodhna Mooney, Lindsay Peat, Fiona Reidy, Ciara Cooney and Mary Healy will be looking to add a second cap to their collection from the bench.

"It's very exciting to have so many new players involved in their first Six Nations game," said Tierney.

"With some of the girls from last year's campaign involved with the Sevens at the moment, as well as some retirements over the past few seasons, it gives others the opportunity to pull on the green jersey.

"We're now at a stage where we are developing more and more girls who are capable of competing at international level and it's a great to see."

The Irish side won four of their five fixtures last year, while Wales finished fifth.

Ireland Women: Niamh Briggs (Munster, capt); Elise O'Byrne-White (Leinster), Aine Donnelly (Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Connacht), Mairead Coyne (Connacht); Nikki Caughey (Ulster), Larissa Muldoon (Skewen); Ailis Egan (Leinster), Zoe Grattage (Munster), Ruth O'Reilly (Connacht); Sophie Spence (Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Leinster); Paula Fitzpatrick (Toulouse), Claire Molloy (Bristol), Heather O'Brien (Toulouse).

Replacements: Cliodhna Moloney (Leinster), Lindsay Peat (Leinster), Fiona Reidy (Munster), Ciara Cooney (Leinster), Ciara Griffin (Munster), Mary Healy (Connacht), Nora Stapleton (Leinster), Jackie Shiels (Richmond).

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