Smith rotates panel for Scotland and Italy trips

Irish coach Darren Smith has named squads of 21 and 20 athletes for the first two phases of their summer programme in Scotland and Italy, respectively.

Aine Connery returns after 15 months outside the Irish panel Pic: Adrian Boehm

Aine Connery returns after 15 months outside the Irish panel Pic: Adrian Boehm

These series will see Loreto’s Hannah Mathews and Pembroke keeper Stella Davis making their debut while Aine Connery returns to the international stage after 15 months and the experienced Alex Speers is back in action in the green jersey for the first time since the Europeans in Belgium August 2013.

Talking about the upcoming series, coach Smith said: “We are looking forward to getting back out on the pitch with the new national squad for 2014. All squad members will play over the two series as we look to build toward 2015.

“After the Champions Challenge tournament it will be great to see the girls who played in Glasgow alongside some who narrowly missed selection or were unavailable.

“The more competition in the squad the better for Arlene, Graham, Mary and I to asses. Scotland will be a tough two games as they narrow their focus to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. We expect that they will be fit, drilled and ready to go”

Ireland panel for Scotland series, June 19-22: Emily Beatty (UCD), Chloe Brown (Ards), Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute), Kate Dillon (Railway Union), Deirdre Duke (UCD), Nikki Evans (UCD), Megan Frazer (captain, Holcombe), Shirley McCay (Old Alex), Ayeisha Mcferran (GK, Randalstown), Katie Mullan (UCD), Stella Davis (GK, Pembroke Wanderers), Ali Meeke (Loreto), Yvonne O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins), Anna O’Flanagan (UCD), Audrey O’Flynn (Hermes), Gillian Pinder (UCD), Cliodhna Sargent (vice captain, Cork Harlequins), Emma Smyth (Railway Union), Alex Speers (Railway Union), Vanessa Surgeoner (Pegasus), Chloe Watkins (Club De Campo)

Scotland series (Glasgow)
Friday, June 20: Ireland v Scotland, 7pm
Sunday, June 22: Ireland v Scotland, 12pm

Ireland panel for 3 Nations in Italy, June 25-29: Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute), Aine Connery (Hermes), Nicci Daly (Holcombe), Kate Dillon (Railway Union), Deirdre Duke (UCD), Nikki Evans (UCD), Megan Frazer (Captain, Holcombe), Emma Gray (GK, Hermes), Hannah Matthews (Loreto), Stella Davis (GK, Pembroke Wanderers), Ali Meeke (Loreto), Yvonne O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins), Anna O’Flanagan (UCD), Audrey O’Flynn (Hermes), Gillian Pinder (UCD), Cliodhna Sargent (vice-captain, Cork Harlequins), Emma Smyth (Railway Union), Alex Speers (Railway Union), Vanessa Surgeoner (Pegasus), Chloe Watkins (Club De Campo)

Tri-Nations, Mori, Italy (Ireland/Wales/Italy)
Thursday, June 26:
Ireland vs Italy, 5.30pm
Friday, June 27: Ireland vs Wales, 5.30pm
Sunday, June 29: Ireland vs Italy, 3pm (Test match)

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