Irish team named to face Wales in Women's Six Nations

Béibhinn Parsons has been named on the Ireland women's rugby team to play Wales in this Saturday's Six Nations clash in Cardiff.

Ballinasloe native Parsons played a starring role in Ireland's Six Nations campaign last year, and she was recently named as the overall winner in the 2000 Westmeath Independent Sports Awards - see HERE for more details.

Béibhinn has been selected on the left wing, with Lauren Delany on the opposite flank, for Ireland's opening game of their 2021 Six Nations campaign at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (kick-off 5pm, live on RTÉ2).

The Ireland team also includes Offaly native Nichola Nichola, who has been selected in the second row alongside the fit-again Aoife McDermott. Fryday has been a key player for Connacht in recent years and has had the honour of captaining the western province.

Ireland will be captained by number eight Ciara Griffin against Wales, and there are three changes to the Irish side that beat Italy at Energia Park last October.

Sevens international Eve Higgins is set to make her 15s debut in the centre, while uncapped backs Emily Lane and Stacey Flood are included on the replacements bench. Higgins, who has starred for Ireland in the Sevens game in recent seasons, earns her debut cap in midfield alongside the experienced Sene Naoupu.

Commenting on his selection, Ireland head coach Griggs said the competition for places within the squad has intensified in recent weeks as they stepped up their preparations for the Six Nations.

"We are extremely confident in the squad we have selected," he said. "We have had a great deal of time to prepare together and this group of players have earned the responsibility to bring the high standards we have set ourselves throughout training into this first game.

"Wales at home will bring a strong challenge and we need to make sure we start the game well and build a platform that allows us to play our game and start this competition off with a win," added Griggs.

Ireland team v Wales

(Women's Six Nations, Saturday, April 10, 5pm)

15. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)

14. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)

13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)

12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)

11. Béibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Blackrock College/Connacht)

10. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)

2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)

3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)

5. Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht)

6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/ Munster)

7. Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby)

8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster), captain

Replacements

16. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)

17. Katie O'Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster)

18. Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)

19. Brittany Hogan (DCU/Old Belvedere/Ulster)

20. Hannah O'Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster)

21. Emily Lane (Blackrock College/Munster)

22. Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)

23. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/Munster).

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