Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams says Dannah O’Brien is ready for the next level.
The Tullow native will make her first Women’s Six Nations start in Ireland’s clash with France at Musgrave Park on Saturday when she lines out at out-half. McWilliams said although the 19-year-old is relatively inexperienced he believes she’s the right person to start at 10 and particularly praised her kicking game.
See also: Tullow’s Dannah O’Brien among 29 now contracted to Irish Rugby Women’s High Performance Programme
O’Brien herself says while its a big upgrade and what she has experienced before, she has been preparing for it;
“It is definitely a massive step up from anything I have played before.”
“Being part of the centralized program has definitely helped in that transition. I am used to this environment, and working to a schedule every day.”
See also: Tullow’s Dannah O’Brien starts again for Ireland in the second test series versus Japan
Grand Slam winner Alison Miller says Dannah O’Brien will offer something fresh to Ireland tomorrow.
“She got her pedigree as a Gaelic footballer I know she showed promise in Carlow. She has got that big boot. It cannot be underestimated in Women’s rugby.”
“It is probably an area we have to improve in the women’s game, so to have that is a huge thing.”
Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams has made five personnel changes in total including O’Brien with Vicky Irwin also coming into the backline, in place of the injured Enya Breen. Christy Haney’s named in the front row, while Linda Djougang switches to loosehead. Grace Moore and Deirbhile Nic a Bháird start in the back row. Uncapped pair Clara Nielson and Kathryn Buggy are in line to make their debuts off the bench.