Ireland Women’s Head Coach Scott Bemand has named his Match Day Squad including four Connacht players, for Friday’s opening WXV3 showdown against Kazakhstan at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai (Kick-off 7.30pm local time/4.30pm Irish time).
Ireland will compete in three rounds of the inaugural WXV competition, with all the action streamed for free on RugbyPass TV.
Bemand has selected an experienced squad for the opening match on Friday evening, with co-captains Sam Monaghan and Edel McMahon starting in the second row and back row respectively.
The co-captains form part of a strong pack, with Linda Djougang, Neve Jones and Christy Haney named in the front row and Dorothy Wall joining Monaghan in the engine room. Grace Moore is at blindside flanker, McMahon at openside and Brittany Hoganat number eight.
The backline contains an exciting blend of youth and experience, with Meabh Deely, Beibhinn Parsons and Natasja Behan starting in the back three, Aoife Dalton and Eve Higgins paired together in midfield and Molly Scuffil-McCabe and Dannah O’Brienselected in the half-backs.
Bemand has named three uncapped players on the bench, with forwards Sarah Delaney, Meg Collis and Eimear Corri all in line to make their Test debuts in green.
Commenting on the squad announcement, Bemand said: “It’s very exciting to name a first team as head coach to compete in the inaugural WXV competition. We have gone with a blended squad of experience and new players and this match day 23 get their first opportunity to put our identity out there in a Test.
“This WXV competition is going to be a great leadership experience for our co-captains Edel and Sam. We have seen how the potential debutants have competed at training and this will be a big moment for them and their families.”
The match will be streamed live on RugbyPassTV – You can register for free to watch all the WXV3 action here.
Ireland Women (Team & Replacements v Kazakhstan, WXV3, Dubai, 4.30pm Irish Time, Friday, October 13th)
- Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)(7)
- Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(7)
- Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(9)
- Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)(7)
- Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)(18)
- Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)(7)
- Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(9)
- Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)(29)
- Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury)(18)
- Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(10)
- Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)(20)
- Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) (captain)(15)
- Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)(10)
- Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs)(captain)(21)
- Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster)(15)
- Sarah Delaney (Blackrock RFC/Leinster)*
- Sadhbh McGrath (MU Barnhall/Cooke RFC/Ulster)(5)
- Megan Collis (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)*
- Eimear Corri (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)*
- Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)(4)
- Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)(4)
- Nicole Fowley (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)(8)
- Leah Tarpey (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(2).