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Debut for Eve Higgins as Griggs names Ireland team to face Wales


Eve Higgins will make her senior Ireland debut in Saturday's Guinness Women's Six Nations clash with Wales in Cardiff. 

She's been named in the centre, alongside the richly experienced Sene Naoupu.

Higgins has been capped twenty times for Ireland in Sevens rugby, starring in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Eimear Considine continues at full-back, with Lauren Delaney and Beibhinn Parsons on the wings.

Kathryn Dane continues at scrum-half, forming a half-back partnership with Hannah Tyrell.

Linda Djougang starts at tighthead in an otherwise experienced front-row that contains Lindsay Peat and Cliodhna Moloney.

Aoife McDermott and Nichola Fryday pack down in the second row.

Captain Ciara Griffin will earn a 34th cap in the back row with Dorothy Wall and Claire Molloy.

Emily Lane and Stacey Flood could earn their first caps off the bench.

Earlier in the week, Dane said Ireland were "in strongest position we've ever been as a squad", and it's a statement that's been underlined by her head coach.

Griggs told his pre-match press conference, "We definitely feel like we are the best-prepared we've been, in terms of our training quality and our internal matches.

"If we look at where we've come from in the last season, we know we've definitely upped our standards.

"But, as I've said before, you never really do know until you're in the heat of a test match.

"I would like to think we're a confident group going into Saturday's match and I guess we'll get our answers after that 80-minutes."

Regarding Higgins' selection at outside centre, Griggs has no qualms about parachuting the Leinster woman into 15's action.

"Eve's been fantastic through training," said the head coach, "We've asked for these players that haven't played for us yet to come into training and put their hand up.

"She's one that's certainly grabbed the bull by the horns, I suppose, and really stood out and done well so she earns her spot there."

Ireland team v Wales: 

15. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)(15 caps)
14. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)(12)
13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)*
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)(38)
11. Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Blackrock College/Connacht)(8)
10. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(17)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)(10)

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)(31)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(23)
3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(9)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)(13)
5. Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht)(15)
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/ Munster)(4)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(70)
8. Ciara Griffin (Captain)(UL Bohemian/Munster)(33)

Replacements:
16. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)(1)
17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster)(1)
18. Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)(16)
19. Brittany Hogan (DCU/Old Belvedere/Ulster)(1)
20. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster)(2)
21. Emily Lane (Blackrock College/Munster)*
22. Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)*
23. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/Munster)(4).

* Denotes uncapped player

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Read more about

Adam Griggs Ciara Griffin Claire Molloy Eimear Considine Eve Higgins Guinness Women's Six Nations Ireland Kathryn Dane Sene Naoupu Six Nations Wales Women's Six Nations

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