Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams made three changes to his team as they seek the first win of their Six Nations campaign against Italy, with Tullow’s Dannah O’Brien retaining her place in the squad.
Sale full-back Lauren Delany replaces Meabh Deely, with Anna McGann making her first senior start at inside centre where she replaces Vicky Irwin.
Scrum-half Ailsa Hughes comes in for Molly Scuffil-McCabe for the match in Parma on Saturday.
McWilliams keeps faith in the pack that started the 53-3 defeat to the French in round two.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Italy Women, 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchni, Saturday, April 15, kick-off 4.45pm):
- Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby) 19
- Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster) 14
- Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
- Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC/Connacht) 3
- Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 4
- Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 4
- Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 17
- Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) 26
- Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster) 15
- Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 7
- Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (capt) 31
- Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) 12
- Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) 18
- Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby) 7
- Deirbhile Nic a Bháird (Old Belvedere RFC/Munster) 6
- Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby) 1
- Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry RFC/Cooke RFC/Ulster) 2
- Kathryn Buggy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) 1
- Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) 16
- Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) 12
- Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) 6
- Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/Ulster) 3
- Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) 4
Daily Telegraph report
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph claims to have uncovered an ‘alarming amount’ of sexism towards the Irish women’s rugby team.
A special report in the English newspaper claims that players were refused protein supplements in the build-up to the team’s historic tour to Japan last November. It also alleges players weren’t consulted about the decision to change the colour of the team’s shorts and that the union refused to explore the option of ‘hybrid contracts’.
The IRFU has disputed the claims in the report that was published today.