Teenager Dannah O’Brien to make first Six Nations start as Ireland team named for French test

Dannah O'Brien of Ireland is tackled by Kerin Lake of Wales

Sinead Kissane

Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams has made five changes to the team for their second game of the Women’s Six Nations against France at Musgrave Park on Saturday (3.15pm).

Tullow teenager Dannah O’Brien (19) will make her first Six Nations start at out-half. O’Brien came off the bench in the second half in Cardiff last Saturday for her third international cap after she made her debut on the two-test tour of Japan last August. Last weekend’s starting out-half, Nicole Cronin, has been dropped to the bench.

In the other change to the backline, Vicky Irwin replaces the injured Enya Breen in the centre. Breen has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury. Irwin replaced full-back Meabh Deely after 31 minutes in last weekend’s 31-5 defeat to Wales. Deely has been passed fit to start on Saturday.

There are three changes to the pack. Eighteen-year-old prop Sadhbh McGrath drops to the bench and is replaced by Christy Haney with Linda Djougang switching across the front row to loosehead prop. There other changes are in the backrow. Number 8 Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird replaces Brittany Hogan who’s on the bench with Grace Moore starting at openside flanker ahead of Maeve Óg O'Leary who drops out of the match-day squad.

There are two debutants on the bench. Exeter Chiefs hooker Clara Nielson and Gloucester-Hartpury prop Kathryn Buggy are set to feature for Ireland for the first time. The replacements also include Anna McGann who was called into the squad yesterday.

Ireland Team & Replacements:

15. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht) (3) 14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster) (13) 13. Aoife Dalton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) (3) 12. Vicky Irwin (Sale Sharks/Ulster) (2) 11. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (3) 10. Dannah O’Brien (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) (3) 9. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster) (5)

1. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster) (25) 2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster) (14) 3. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (6) 4. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht) (30) (Captain) 5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby) (11) 6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster) (17) 7. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby) (6) 8. Deirbhile Nic a Bháird (Old Belvedere RFC/Munster) (5)


16. Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)* 17. Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry/Cooke RFC/Ulster) (1) 18. Kathryn Buggy (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)* 19. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster) (15) 20. Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC/Ulster) (11) 21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster) (22) 22. Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC/Connacht) (2) 23. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)n(18).