Megan Frazer and Cliodhna Sargent are hoping they can make their respective returns to the Irish senior women’s international line-up following their inclusion Graham Shaw’s 29-player panel for upcoming series in Glasgow and Bisham Abbey in March.
The coach will hope they can show the potential to hit full stride for the summer’s World Cup in London.
For Frazer, it would mark the end of a painful 16-month journey. In November 2016, she ruptured her anterior cruciate as well as tearing a medial cruciate ligament in her knee, leading to two surgeries.
She is back training on-pitch with her club Mannheimer HC in Germany with hopes Frazer can reach the heights from before the injury when she was regarded as one of Ireland’s most talented performers.
Cork Harlequins’ Sargent is further along in her comeback, returning to club action before Christmas. She stepped back from the national squad in the wake of January 2017’s World League Round 2 to give birth to her first child.
On the goalkeeping front, regular number one Ayeisha McFerran is available, taking the place of Clodagh Cassin in the panel. Based at the University of Louisville, she was not involved in the trip to Malaga earlier this month where Ireland shared a four-game series with higher ranked Spain.
Sinead Loughran is another back in the mix following an ankle injury that rumbled on a little longer than expected to heal while Leaving Cert student Hannah McLoughlin is named.
Stepping out this time are Kate Lloyd, Erin Getty, Chloe Brown and Emma Russell in addition to Cassin. The Scottish leg of the tour sees Ireland play Scotland at Glasgow Green on March 5th and 6th. A week later, they go to Bisham for games on March 12th, 13th and 15th to face World Cup hosts England.
Ireland women’s panel (March 6-15, Glasgow and Bisham Abbey): Ayeisha McFerran (University of Louisville), Grace O’Flanagan (Railway Union), Emma Buckley (Cork Harlequins), Zoe Wilson (Belfast Harlequins), Yvonne O’Byrne (Cork Harlequins), Lena Tice (UCD), Chloe Watkins (HC Bloemendaal), Ali Meeke (Loreto), Lizzie Colvin (Belfast Harlequins), Anna O’Flanagan (HC Bloemendaal), Ellen Curran (UCD), Deirdre Duke (UCD), Nicola Evans (UHC Hamburg), Naomi Carroll (Cork Harlequins), Hannah Matthews (Loreto), Sarah Torrans (Loreto), Rebecca Barry (Cork Harlequins), Emily Beatty (Pembroke), Aisling Naughton (Pembroke), Gill Pinder (Pembroke), Shirley McCay (Pegasus), Leah McGuire (UCD), Roisin Upton (Cork Harlequins), Katie Mullan (UCD), Nicci Daly (Loreto), Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins), Megan Frazer (Mannheimer HC), Hannah McLoughlin (Loreto), Sinead Loughran (Hermes-Monkstown)