EVE HIGGINS WILL make her Ireland XVs debut in Saturday’s Women’s Six Nations game against Wales in Cardiff [KO 5pm, RTÉ 2].

Ireland open their campaign against a Welsh outfit who suffered a 53-0 thrashing at the hands of France last weekend.

Higgins, who has won 20 caps in Sevens rugby, will partner Sene Naoupu at centre in the team selected by head coach Adam Griggs.

There are also two other potential Ireland debutants this weekend, with uncapped backs Emily Lane and Stacey Flood named among the replacements. 

“We are extremely confident in the squad we have selected,” Griggs said. “We have had a great deal of time to prepare together and this group of players have earned the responsibility to bring the high standards we have set ourselves throughout training into this first game.

“Wales at home will bring a strong challenge and we need to make sure we start the game well and build a platform that allows us to play our game and start this competition off with a win.”

Ireland (v Wales):

15. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)
14. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/IQ Rugby)
13. Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
11. Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Blackrock College/Connacht)
10. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/IQ Rugby)
3. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/Connacht)
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps/IQ Rugby)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster – captain)

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16. Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)
17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/Leinster)
18. Laura Feely (Blackrock College/Connacht)
19. Brittany Hogan (DCU/Old Belvedere/Ulster)
20. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/Leinster)
21. Emily Lane (Blackrock College/Munster)
22. Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
23. Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/Munster)