Women handed tough sevens draw in Atlanta
IRELAND women's Sevens team have been handed a tough draw at next month's World Series event in Atlanta, Georgia as they'll face New Zealand, England and the Netherlands in their pool.
The squad made their Series debut in Dubai last November and got a taste of the step up they made when earning core status last summer as they finished second from bottom, drawing with the United States and losing to New Zealand and Fiji in the pool stages.
They lost to France in the Bowl semi-finals, before beating Tunisia in the play-off for 11th place. Their second bite at the World Series cherry looks just as tough, with their opening game coming on February 15 against England.
Meanwhile, the IRFU have confirmed that the Ireland women's Six Nations clash with Italy will take place at Lansdowne Road 40 minutes after the conclusion of the men's game against the Azzurri.
Ticket holders for the men's clash will be allowed to stay, while tickets will also be available for the second game at €10 for adults and €5 for concessions.
Elsewhere, Scotland named uncapped winger Dougie Fife and flanker Chris Fusaro in their squad for the Six Nations. Prop Euan Murray and winger Tim Visser were among players not considered due to injury.
Coach Scott Johnson named only two specialist scrum-halves in Greig Laidlaw and Chris Cusiter, with Henry Pyrgos dropping out of the squad, which includes 16 Glasgow Warriors players. Scotland begin the Six Nations in Ireland on February 2.