Two rugby players from Laois have been officially named on the Ireland Women’s Six Nations squad.
Long-serving Irish international Alison Miller is joined by a fellow Laois native on Adam Grigg’s squad, Portlaoise woman Emma Hooban.
Miller broke her ankle in last season’s 6 Nations clash against Italy and was out for 10 months prior to her return in mid-December.
Miller has been playing with Ireland since 2010 and has been capped 43 times.
Meanwhile 21-year-old Hooban, who plays hooker, initially made her Leinster debut during the summer and has since successfully stepped up to international level.
The 29-woman squad was announced ahead of Sunday’s uncapped, warm-up fixture against Wales in Energia Park, Donnybrook at 1pm.
Eight uncapped players have also been named on the squad ahead of Sunday’s game, including Linda Djougang, Anne Marie O’Hora, Hannah O’Connor and Claire Boles, Kathryn Dane, Claire Keohane, Ailbhe Dowling and Enya Breen.
Head Coach Griggs said: “We have had two very productive training camps since Christmas and the players have been working hard to make sure we carry on from the good performance we had in our last autumn international against England in Twickenham.
“While we didn’t get the result we were after in that game the players took a big step in terms of their development and now have a feel for what is required at international level.
“It’s great to get a warm-up fixture for the Six Nations of this quality where we will be able to try out some new combinations and really test ourselves in what we have been doing in camp together.
“We are missing some key players who are unavailable to us due to injury which is unfortunate and not ideal at the start of the Six Nations, but it is a chance to give some very talented new faces an opportunity to put their hands up and show us they can compete at international level.”
Ireland Women’s Six Nations 2019 Squad
Claire Boles (Railway Union/ Ulster)*
Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster) *
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
Anna Caplice (Richmond)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) *
Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/IQ Rugby)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
Ailbhe Dowling (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire Keohane (Railway Union/ Munster) *
Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere / Ulster)
Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
Claire Molloy (Wasps)
Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock/ Leinster) *
Anne Marie O’Hora ( Galwegians/ Connacht)*
Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Ireland Women’s Team – Six Nations 2019 Fixtures:
Friday 1 February: Ireland v England, Donnybrook, 5pm
Friday 8 February: Scotland v Ireland, Scotstoun, 7.35pm
Saturday 23 February: Italy v Ireland, Parma, 6.30pm
Saturday 9 March: Ireland v France, Donnybrook, 7pm
Sunday 17 March: Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30pm