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Griffin to captain Ireland for international farewell against Japan

Griffin to captain Ireland for international farewell against Japan

Ciara Griffin will bring the curtain down on her international career by leading out Ireland one last time after being named captain for Saturday’s clash with Japan.

The 27-year-old back-rower will win her 41st cap at the RDS, having captained her country since 2018 after making her debut in the green jersey in the 2016 Women’s Six Nations.

Ireland captain Griffin to retire from international rugby

Head coach Adam Griggs – who is also taking charge of the team for the final time – has named three uncapped players in his matchday 23 after Ireland beat USA 20-10 last weekend.

Leinster duo Mary Healy and Ella Roberts and Connacht back Shannon Touhey are all included for the first time and will be hoping to make an impact off the bench.

Munster’s Aoife Doyle makes her welcome return to the starting XV and is joined in the back three by Lauren Delany and Laura Sheehan, who are retained from last Friday’s win over USA in Dublin.

Ciara Griffin Ireland

Eimear Considine and Sene Naoupu continue their midfield partnership, but there is a new-look half-back pairing as Enya Breen starts at No.10 for the first time alongside Kathryn Dane.

In the pack, Laura Feely, Neve Jones and Linda Djougang are named in the front row, with the experienced Aoife McDermott returning to the second row alongside Sam Monaghan.

Griffin starts at blindside flanker for her 41st Ireland cap, with Edel McMahon continuing at openside and Hannah O’Connor back in the starting team at No.8 following injury.

It will be a special occasion for the three uncapped players on the bench, as Healy, Touhey and Roberts all hope to win their debut cap in front of a home crowd at the RDS.

Griggs said: “Following on from last week’s win over USA, this is a really exciting opportunity for the group as we head into our second Autumn Test.

“A number of players have earned their opportunity and it’s important to explore the depth within the group and build layers of experience as the group build towards the 2022 Women’s Six Nations.

“It is particularly exciting to see a number of young players coming through the Inter-Pros and All-Ireland League, and for them to get their chance at Test level this weekend is paramount as the team enters a new cycle.”

Ireland Team:

15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)(17)
14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union/Munster)(6)
13. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster)(22)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(45)
11. Laura Sheehan (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)(5)
10. Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster)(8)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)(17)

1. Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)(22)
2. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)(5)
3. Linda Djougang (ASM Romagnat Rugby/Leinster)(16)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)(17)
5. Sam Monaghan (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(4)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster)(Captain)(40)
7. Edel McMahon (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(13)
8. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster)(6).


16. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(30)
17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster)(4)
18. Mary Healy (Naas/Suttonians/Leinster)*
19. Anna Caplice (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)(15)
20. Maeve Og O’Leary (Blackrock College/Munster)(1)
21. Alisa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster)(13)
22. Shannon Touhey (Tullamore/Connacht)*
23. Ella Roberts (Wicklow/Leinster)*