BY CHRIS MCNULTY
FAHAN native Nora Stapleton has been named at fly-half on the Ireland team for Friday night’s Women’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland at Ashbourne.
Ireland host the Scots for a game that begins the defence of their title following a scintillating 2013 campaign which saw them win their first-ever Grand Slam.
Stapleton was a part of that team and had retained her place at number 10, but scrum-half Larissa Muldoon, from Ballybofey, has to be content with a place among the substitutes.
Stapleton, who won the 2010 All-Ireland Intermediate title with the Donegal Ladies Gaelic football team, plys her trade with Leinster these days having been a late comer to the sport.
However, she has impressed and was a key figure in the Grand Slam win last year that saw the Irish women take the 6 Nations title.
Muldoon, who is in college in Cardiff, is on the bench alongside Niamh Briggs, another hero of last year’s triumphant squad.
The Ireland Women’s team will play their first ever fixture at the Aviva Stadium when Italy come to play on Saturday 8th March. This game will kick-off approximately 40minutes after Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash against the Azzuri has concluded.
There is a familiar feel to the selection to face the Scots with players such as Nora Stapleton, Fiona Coghlan, Alison Miller and Lynne Cantwell all set to start.
“We had a good win against the Scots last year but we will need to put in a similar performance this time round to we get a positive result,” Philip Doyle, Ireland Women’s Head Coach, said
“It is great to be starting off the campaign in Ashbourne and hopefully we can deliver a strong performance.”
RBS 6 Nations Ireland Women’s Fixtures
Friday January 31, 7.30pm at Ashbourne
Ireland v Scotland
Friday February 7, 7.30pm at Ashbourne
Ireland v Wales
Saturday February 22, 6.20pm at Twickenham
England v Ireland
Saturday March 8, 5pm at Aviva Stadium
Ireland v Italy
Friday March 14, 6.45pm at Stade du Hameau
France v Ireland
The Ramelton man, who is a kidney transplant recipient, won a Bronze in Golf event age category 30-39 years.