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Cliodhna Sargent will make a surprise return to the Irish women’s senior panel for the European championships having been initially omitted from this summer’s extended panel of 27 players by Darren Smith.
Sargent steps in to replace Lizzie Colvin who has suffered an ACL knee injury and will line out for her first international since March’s ill-fated World League round two competition in Spain.
The Cork Harlequins woman returned to training in the past month having been initially one of four high profile names to miss out on the international series in Dublin and Belfast.
With 125 caps under her belt, she brings plenty of experience and was part of the last two European campaigns in Amsterdam and Monchengladbach.
Speaking about Sargent’s inclusion, Smith said that Michelle Harvey, Kate Dillon and Brenda Flannery either injured or unavailable, she offers a strong late option to call up: “It is very disappointing to lose Lizzie. We have been working hard to develop her into a defender and she has been adapting well into that position.
“We are fortunate that, in Cliodhna, we have an experienced and skilful defender who is well positioned to step into the squad for the Euros.”
Irish senior women’s squad: Niamh Atcheler (UCD), Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute), Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins), Nicci Daly (Loreto), Megan Frazer (Ballymoney), Emma Gray (Hermes), Nicola Gray (UCD), Lisa Jacob (Hermes), Shirley McCay (Old Alex), Anna O’Flanagan (UCD), Grace O’Flanagan (Railway Union), Audrey O’Flynn (Hermes), Gillian Pinder (Hermes), Niamh Small (Loreto), Emma Smyth (Railway Union), Alex Speers (Railway Union), Nikki Symmons (Loreto), Chloe Watkins (UCD)