Spence has been a lynchpin of the Ireland pack in recent seasons but suffered a concussion late last year and missed out on the run of interpros as a result. That lack of game time has counted against her. For now.
The squad operates an open door policy and both Spence and scrum-half Larissa Muldoon, another notable absentee, will have ample opportunity to reestablish their credentials as the tournament potters on.
Two of the uncapped quintet, Ulster’s Ilse Van Staden and Ciara O’Connor of Connacht, are forwards.They are joined in camp for the first time by backs Ailsa Hughes of Leinster, Ulster’s Jemma Jackson and Munster and Ireland Sevens player Eimear Considine.
Niamh Briggs is again the captain.
Ireland begin their campaign with a trip to the Broadwood Stadium in Glasgow against Scotland this day week.
All five of their matches will be covered live for the first time by RTÉ as the squad builds towards the World Cup to be held in Dublin and Belfast later this year.
“While we had some tough games in November, the experience the players gained in those matches will stand to them as we head into the Six Nations Championship,” said Tierney.
“There is a good blend of youth and experience in the squad, and having had weekly camps since Christmas, we’ve been working hard getting our structures in place and making sure everyone knows their job.
“The fact that all of our games will be broadcast this season adds an additional element of excitement to the campaign so everyone is looking forward to it all getting underway.”
E Anthony (Highfield/Munster); A Caplice (UL Bohemian/Munster); C Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster); A Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster); P Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s College/Leinster); O Fitzsimons (St Mary’s College/Leinster); N Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht); C Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster); L Lyons (Highfield/Munster); C Molloy (Bristol/Connacht); C Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster); H O’Brien (Highfield/Munster); C O’Connor (Galwegians / Connacht); R O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht); L Peat (Railway Union/Leinster); ML Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); I Van Staden (Cooke/Ulster).
N Briggs (UL Bohemian/ Munster) E Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster); M Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht); A Donnelly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); M Healy (Galwegians/Connacht); A Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster); J Jackson (Cooke/Ulster); N Kavanagh (UL Bohemian/Munster); C McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster); A Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); J Murphy (Old BelvederE /Leinster); S Naoupu (Ayslesford Bulls); N Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster).