Seven uncapped players named in Ireland's Six Nations squad

The campaign begins against Wales in Donnybrook on February 6th

ireland, six nations, rugby, wales, tom tierney, niamh briggs

Ireland's Niamh Briggs lifts the cup as the Irish players celebrate Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Irish Head Coach Tom Tierney has named seven uncapped players in his 30-woman squad for the forthcoming defence of the Six Nations.

Unlike the men's team, there has been no change to the captaincy as Niamh Briggs will lead the team again this year.

There are a number of players who will be looking to win their first Ireland cap during the championship. Tralee and Munster players Zoe Grattage and Ciara Griffin are joined by Tralee teammate Ciara O'Connor, who plays provincially with Connacht and St.Mary's and Connacht flanker Grainne Egan as the uncapped players in the pack.

In the backs, U.L Bohs and Munster wing Liz Burke and centres Elise O'Byrne-White (Old Belvedere and Leinster) and Claire McLaughlin (Queen's University and Ulster) are also uncapped.

Speaking on the selection, Ireland Women's coach, Tom Tierney said:

"We have named a squad full of talent for this year's championship. There is a nice blend of youth and experience and the vibe in the camp has been very positive over the last few weeks.

We've had the opportunity to see a lot of the girls play and we've looked at a number of combinations. The newer members of the squad are doing really well, so we're looking forward to getting the campaign underway against Wales in Donnybrook and seeing what the girls can do”.

Ireland Women's Six Nations 2016 Squad
Forwards:
Elaine Anthony (Munster / Highfield)
Ciara Cooney (Leinster / Railway Union)
Ailis Egan (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)
Grainne Egan (Connacht / St.Mary's)*
Paula Fitzpatrick (Leinster / Stade Toulousain)
Orla Fitzsimons (Leinster / St.Mary's)
Zoe Grattage (Munster / Tralee)*
Ciara Griffin (Munster / Tralee)*
Claire Molloy (Bristol)
Cliodhna Moloney (Leinster / Railway Union)
Heather O'Brien (Munster / Stade Toulousain)
Fiona O'Brien (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)
Ciara O'Connor (Connacht / Tralee)*
Ruth O'Reilly (Connacht / Galwegians)
Lindsay Peat (Leinster / Railway Union)
Fiona Reidy (Munster / U.L Bohemians)
Marie-Louise Reilly (Leinster / Old Belvedere)
Sophie Spence (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)

Backs:
Niamh Briggs (capt) (Munster / U.L Bohemians)
Liz Burke (Munster / U.L Bohemians)*
Nikki Caughey (Ulster / Railway Union)
Mairead Coyne (Connacht / Galwegians)
Aine Donnelly (Leinster/ Cill Dara)
Mary Healy (Connacht / Galwegians)
Claire McLaughlin (Ulster / Queen's University)*
Larissa Muldoon (Skewen)
Sene Naoupu (Connacht / Galwegians)
Elise O'Byrne-White (Leinster/ Old Belvedere)*
Jackie Shiels (Richmond)
Nora Stapleton (Leinster / Old Belvedere)

* denotes uncapped players