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Wall set for first start as Ireland take on Italy

Wall set for first start as Ireland take on Italy

Dorothy Wall will make her first Women’s Six Nations start this weekend after being named in the Ireland side to take on Italy at Energia Park.

The 20-year-old flanker came off the bench in all three of the competition’s earlier rounds but is in from the outset for Saturday’s clash and will wear the No.6 jersey.

Wall is joined in the back row by captain Ciara Griffin and Clare Molloy, who will earn her 70th cap .

Elsewhere in the pack, the front row is unchanged from the first three rounds while Nichola Fryday and Ciara Cooney make up the second row.

Fly-half Hannah Tyrell is to make her first start of this year’s Championship while Beibhinn Parsons, who scored two tries in the opening three rounds, lines up on the wing.

Uncapped forwards Neve Jones, Katie O’Dwyer and Brittany Hogan will hope to make their Ireland debuts on Saturday having been named among the replacements.

Ireland were forced to make some late changes, however, with Eimear Considine and Laura Feely ruled out as “a precaution following inconclusive outcomes of Covid-19 tests on one player and a resultant potential close contact with two other players”, according to the IRFU.

The player subsequently returned a negative test, with Considine – who was due to start at full-back – and replacement Feely able to rejoin the squad following the weekend. The third player was not part of the matchday 23 to face Italy.

Laura Sheehan comes into the back three, with Lauren Delany moving from right wing to full-back in place of Considine, while Leah Lyons replaces Feely among the replacements.

Head coach Adam Griggs said: “No-one across Irish Rugby in the women’s game is actually able to pull on a jersey and play right now and yet here we are.

“We are already privileged to represent our country and be one of the only teams actually playing in these times.

“It’s not lost on us and we want to make sure we perform really well and give everyone watching something to cheer about come the final whistle.”

Ireland team to play Italy

15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/ IQ Rugby) 11 caps

14. Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 3 caps

13. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster) 7 caps

12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 37 caps

11. Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College/ Connacht) 7 caps

10. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) 16 caps

9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) 9 Caps

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster) – 30 caps

2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby) – 22 caps

3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster) – 8 caps

4. Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht) – 14 caps

5. Ciara Cooney (Wasps/IQ Rugby) – 21 caps

6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/Munster) – 3 caps

7. Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby) – 69 caps

8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster) – 32 caps (captain)

Replacements:

16. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster) – uncapped

17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster) – uncapped

18. Leah Lyons (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby) 24 caps

19. Brittany Hogan (Ballynahinch/Ulster) – uncapped

20. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster) – 1 cap

21. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster) – 11 caps

22. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Leinster) – 47 caps

23. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College/Leinster) – 13 caps