Fleming and O'Brien lead Red brigade in Grand Slam defence
Siobhan Fleming and Heather O'Brien lead the Munster contingent in the Ireland Women's team, who get the defence of their Six Nations title under way against Scotland at Ashbourne tonight (7.30).
The back-row duo are joined by Gill Bourke, Fiona Hayes and Niamh Briggs, who have been named on the bench for the competition's opening tie. Both Bourke and Briggs will provide huge experience as replacements with 36 international caps each, while 74-times capped UL Bohs star Fiona Coughlan will skipper the side.
The match-day 23 is made up of eight Leinster players, five each from Munster and the Exiles, three from Ulster and two from Connacht.
Head coach Philip Doyle is hoping for a positive start to the competition as Ireland Women attempt to defend the crown for the first time.
"We had a good win against the Scots last year but we will need to put in a similar performance this time round to we get a positive result.
"It is great to be starting off the campaign in Ashbourne and, hopefully, we can deliver a strong performance," Doyle said.
Ireland Women – Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exiles); Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exiles), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond /Exiles), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise RFC/UCC/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/ Leinster), Amy Davis (Blackrock /Ulster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohs/Leinster), Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie–Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Heather O' Brien (Highfield/Munster). Reps: Gill Bourke (UL Bohs/Munster), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohs/Munster), Kerri –Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exiles), Orla Fitzsimmons (St Mary's/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exiles), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohs/Munster).