The Ireland and Italian Women’s teams have been announced ahead of the Six Nations clash at Viale Piacenza (Lanfranchi), Parma on Saturday 23rd February, kick off 18:45 UK/Ire. (Live RTÉ/Eurosport Italia).
While the IRFU are still tinkering with their BREXIT Backstop plans in the Men’s and U20’s squad they appear to have everything in place for the Women with not a single player playing their club rugby north of the border for the third match running.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Ulster players are not represented, in fact they receive their first start of this campaign with Enniskillen native Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere) the only change to the starting line up that came away with a win against Scotland a fortnight ago. Dane is joined by fellow Enniskillen RFC graduate Claire Boles (Railway Union) and Old Belvedere teammate Claire McLaughlin who both start on the bench.
The inclusion of Dane and Boles in the squad for the second game in succession is a remarkable achievement for Enniskillen RFC.
Six Nations standings after Round 2.
Italy are unbeaten this year, a win against Scotland (away) was followed by a scrappy draw with Wales (home) and the “Italaldonne” will be targeting a third place finish up amongst the Women’s powerhouse side of England and France.
Ireland appear to be their main rivals for a top three finish and everything is pointing towards this being a close game. Ireland have received a huge boost with the return from injury of, FRU Favourite, Lindsay Peat (Railway Union) who should spice things up in the second half should she get a run from the bench.
It’s a tough one to call but, on paper, Italy go into this one as marginal favourites. However, it might be a title they are not comfortable with so we’ll go for a narrow win for Ireland Women.
|Manuela Furlan||15||Lauren Delany|
|Aura Muzzo||14||Eimear Considine|
|Michela Sillari||13||Sene Naoupu|
|Beatrice Rigoni||12||Michelle Claffey|
|Sofia Stefan||11||Alison Miller|
|Veronica Madia||10||Nicole Fowley|
|Sara Barattin||9||Kathryn Dane|
|Gaia Giacomoli||1||Laura Feely|
|Melissa Bettoni||2||Emma Hooban|
|Lucia Gai||3||Leah Lyons|
|Valeria Fedrighi||4||Aoife McDermott|
|Giordana Duca||5||Nichola Fryday|
|Ilaria Arrighetti||6||Anna Caplice|
|Giada Franco||7||Claire Molloy|
|Elisa Giordano||8||Ciara Griffin|
|Lucia Cammarano||16||Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird|
|Silvia Turani||17||Lindsay Peat|
|Sara Tounesi||18||Fiona Reidy|
|Valentina Ruzza||19||Claire Boles|
|Francesca Sberna||20||Claire McLaughlin|
|Francesca Sgorbini||21||Ailsa Hughes|
|Jessica Busato||22||Ellen Murphy|
|Camilla Sarasso||23||Laura Sheehan|