Ireland debuts for Baxter and Spence

Ireland coach Philip Doyle has named two uncapped players in his side for Friday’s Women’s 6 Nations clash against Wales (Ashbourne RFC, 7.30pm).

Newcomer Ashleigh Baxter earns her first cap at full-back while Sophie Spence is introduced in the second row.

Ireland’s most capped player, Lynne Cantwell, will start at out-half and will form a new half-back pairing with Amy Davis while Grace Davitt returns to the team after missing out last season and forms the centre partnership with Niamh Briggs.

The back row has an experienced look, with Laura Guest partnering Claire Molloy and Joy Neville.

IRELAND: *A Baxter (Belfast Harlequins, Ulster), N Kavanagh (UL Bohemians, Munster), N Briggs (UL Bohemians, Munster), G Davitt (Cooke, Ulster), A Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield, Connacht), L Cantwell (Exile), A Davis (Blackrock, Leinster), F Coghlan (UL Bohemians, Leinster) (C), G Bourke (UL Bohemians, Munster), A Egan (Old Belvedere, Leinster), M L Reilly (Old Belvedere, Leinster), *S Spence (Exile), L Guest (Highfield, Munster), C Molloy (Bristol, Exile), J Neville (UL Bohemians, Munster).

Replacements: *P Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s, Leinster), *R O’Reilly (Galwegians, Connacht), *S Fleming (Tralee, Munster), H O’Brien (Highfield, Munster) L Muldoon (Exile/UWIC, Ulster), *N Caughey (Belfast Harlequins, Ulster), AN Other.

*(Uncapped Player).

WALES: M Evan, C Murray, P Tuttiett, A Taviner, R Fletcher, N Thomas, L Prosser, C Thomas, R Bowden, J Davies, V Owens, S Powell Hughes, S Harries, R Taylor (capt), J Kift.

Replacements: L Harries, M York, S Williams, C Flowers, A Day, R De Filippo, C James.

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