Women’s Three to Watch: Ireland

The tournament kicks off when Ireland host England at Energia Park on Friday, February 1.

But who will stand out for Ireland in this year’s competition as they attempt to record their first title since 2015?

Claire Molloy

Having won two Six Nations medals and having competed at three World Cups, Claire Molloy knows a thing or two about representing Ireland at the highest level.

Capped more than 60 times by Ireland, the 30-year old brings a wealth of experience to Griggs’ team as they look to improve on last year’s third-place finish.

Flanker Molloy, who won two player of the match awards at last year’s Six Nations Championship, won the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Women’s Player of the Year for a second year in a row in 2018.

And before then, the Wasps player captained Ireland at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup and was a member of the teams that won the 2013 and 2015 Women’s Six Nations Championships.

She also captained the Ireland team at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Away from the pitch, Molloy is a qualified doctor and studied medicine at Cardiff University alongside Wales centre Jamie Roberts.

Alison Miller

Ireland’s back-three options have been boosted by the inclusion of fit-again winger Alison Miller, who suffered a serious ankle injury against Italy during last season’s Six Nations.

Miller returned to her Old Belvedere side just before Christmas and, now back to full-match fitness, she is sure to be a valuable asset for Ireland at this year’s competition.

The Grand Slam and Six Nations winner has been a key figure for Ireland since 2010, having won 43 caps for her country with a strike rate of a try every two games. 

Miller scored a crucial try as Ireland edged a 17-14 victory over New Zealand at the 2014 World Cup – the Black Ferns first defeat in a World Cup for 23 years.

She also scored a hat-trick of tries as Ireland beat England 25-0 for the first time back in 2013.

If Miller can get back to that level of devastating form, she could be one of the deadliest wings in this year’s competition.

Lauren Delany

Lauren Delany may be one of the newer faces in Ireland’s squad, but her try-scoring ability suggests that she could well be one of the stand-out performers at the 2019 Women’s Six Nations.

Delany, who came through an IQ Rugby screening day, was one of the six players who made their Ireland debut in the recent November internationals.

The Firwood Waterloo full-back, who scored a brilliant try against England in November, is set to play in her first Six Nations for her country.

Delany will be determined to impress again and will provide another welcomed breath of fresh air to Ireland’s back three.

Article source: https://www.sixnationsrugby.com/2019/01/07/womens-three-to-watch-ireland/

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.