Ireland head coach Adam Griggs has named the matchday 23 that will take on Italy in the all-important Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier match.
Griggs has made four changes in personnel to his starting XV from the Round 1 defeat to Spain at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, with Laura Feely, Sam Monaghan, Edel McMahon and Eve Higgins coming into the side.
Ciara Griffin captains Ireland for the Round 2 clash against the host nation, as Griggs’ side bid to bounce back and keep their hopes of automatic qualification for next year’s Rugby World Cup from this tournament alive.
Higgins’ return to the Ireland midfield alongside Sene Naoupu – restoring their partnership from the Women’s Six Nations – is the only change to the backline from last weekend, with Eimear Considine, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Beibhinn Parsons continuing in an unchanged back three.
Lucy Mulhall, the Irish Sevens captain, makes way for Higgins after starting on her debut for the 15s against Spain.
Kathryn Dane and Stacey Flood are named at scrum-half and out-half once again, with Feely coming into the Ireland front row alongside Linda Djougang and Cliodhna Moloney for her 21st cap.
Having made her debut off the bench in Round 1, Monaghan is set for her first Test start in the second row alongside Nichola Fryday, while McMahon’s inclusion in the back row sees Griffin revert back to number eight, with Dorothy Wall continuing at blindside flanker.
Neve Jones, Lindsay Peat, Leah Lyons, Brittany Hogan and Claire Molloy are named on the bench, while Emily Lane, Enya Breen and Lauren Delany once again provide Griggs with the backline cover.
The game will be played at the Stade Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma – where the tournament is hosted – and will kick-off on Sunday, September 19 at 2 pm.
Ireland Squad v Italy
15. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)(19)
14. Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)(3)
13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)(3)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(42)
11. Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Blackrock College/Connacht)(12)
10. Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)(4)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)(14)
1. Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)(20)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(27)
3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(13)
4. Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht)(19)
5. Sam Monaghan (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(1)
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/Munster)(8)
7. Edel McMahon (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(10)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster)(Captain)(37)
16. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)(4)
17. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)(35)
18. Leah Lyons (Sale/IQ Rugby)(27)
19. Brittany Hogan (DCU/Old Belvedere/Ulster)(5)
20. Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby)(71)
21. Emily Lane (Blackrock College/Munster)(4)
22. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/Munster)(7)
23. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)(15).