Sunday 22 April 2018

Briggs returns for Six Nations

Ireland's Megan Williams. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland's Megan Williams. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Winger Megan Williams will make her international debut when Ireland begin their Six Nations campaign in France on Saturday.

There is also a welcome return to competitive action for Niamh Briggs who has made the switch from full-back to out-half.

Briggs, who has long been a stalwart of women's rugby in this country, has endured a torrid time with injury and her return will boost Adam Griggs' chances of starting his tenure in charge with a win.

It is very much a new-look team from the one that crashed out of the World Cup, but even still Williams is the only uncapped player in the starting XV, while Connacht loosehead Laura Feely will be hoping to win her first cap from the bench.

New captain Ciara Griffin has also made a positional switch as she is moved to No 8 from the flank. Sene Naoupu will provide plenty of X-factor from midfield.

"The opening game of this tournament is always going to be a challenge and France in front of their home crowd is immense," Griggs said. "However, the squad have had good preparation over the last two weeks and are excited and focused on the challenge to start our campaign off with a positive performance."

Ireland women (v France, Saturday 8.0) - K Flood; M Williams, C McLaughlin, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Briggs, A Hughes; L Peat, C Moloney, F Reidy; C Cooney, O Fitzsimons; A Caplice, C Molloy, C Griffin (capt). Reps: L Lyons, L Feely, C O'Connor, N Fryday, P Fitzpatrick, M Healy, N Caughey, M Coyne.

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