The Ireland Women’s national team squad has been named for the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier in Italy.
Head coach Adam Griggs has selected a 28-strong squad that will travel to Parma with the aim of reaching next year’s global tournament in New Zealand.
Griggs has included three uncapped players in his selection for the qualifying tournament in Parma, as Ireland prepare to go head-to-head with hosts Italy, Spain and Scotland for a place at Rugby World Cup 2021.
Lucy Mulhall, Sam Monaghan and Mary Healy are in line to earn their first caps for the side in Italy.
Mulhall is the Ireland Women’s Sevens captain and is set her first appearance for the country at 15s in the qualifiers.
Monaghan came through the IRFU’s IQ Rugby programme and she has trained alongside Mulhall with the side in recent weeks at the IRFU High Performance Centre.
Mary Healy has impressed with her performances in the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship for Leinster in recent weeks.
Ireland will face Spain in their opening game on Monday, 13 September (5 pm Irish time) before meeting Six Nations rivals Italy in Round 2 on Sunday, 19 September (2 pm Irish time) and Scotland in Round 3 on Saturday, 25 September (5 pm Irish time).
The top team will book a spot in Group B at Rugby World Cup 2021 and the runner-up will enter the Final Qualification Tournament.
Commenting on his selection, Griggs said: “This was a difficult selection process with the quality we have in the squad, however, we have selected players who have performed consistently well throughout our training camps in the HPC and earned this opportunity.
“It’s an exciting group including a good mix of experienced players who have been involved in big Test matches and understand the detail, preparation and intensity required to win at this level. We are looking forward to heading to Parma and fine-tuning our game for Spain first and foremost.
“While we can only focus on one game at a time, we won’t shy away from the end goal of this being a winner-takes-all tournament for participation at Rugby World Cup 2021. The players and staff are all highly motivated and focused on making sure we are successful as a group.”