An Irish Under-23/21 selection kickstart a busy month this evening when they play the first of three challenge matches against Wales.
An extensive panel of 35 players has been named for the summer programme which will also include games against Italy and Chile, leading up to a Six Nations Under-23 tournament in Antwerp.
The panel has 13 of last year’s European Under-21s panel involved with Emma Buckley, Michelle Carey, Erin Getty and Tori Hastings unavailable while Sarah Torrans remains with the senior panel.
Ten players who are the threshold for Under-21 but eligble to play in the Under-23 tournament are involved. Sara Twomey, Abbie Russell and Ruth Maguire are listed as the three leaders who will share the captaincy roles
Other notable inclusions are the Serena Barr and Sarah Hawkshaw who are back in Irish contention following their spells at the Liberty Flames and University of Massachusetts, respectively.
Coach Dave Passmore said: “the group have worked hard on an individual basis and these matches provide an opportunity for them to stake their claim to participate in a world level tournament in Antwerp now that exams are over”.
Ireland Under-23/21 squad for three game series vs Wales (June 29 to July 1): Bethany Barr* (UCD), Serena Barr* (Ben Rhyding, England), Michelle Barry (Cork Harlequins), Sally Campbell (Trinity), Niamh Carey (Railway Union), Clodagh Cassin (GK, UCD), Sorcha Clarke* (UCD), Jenny Clein (UCC), Ellen Curran (UCD), Taite Doherty* (Pegasus), Alanah Doyle (Ards), Katherine Egan (UCD), Laura Foley (Catholic Institute), Niamh Gowing (Muckross), Hannah Grieve* (Pegasus), Sarah Hawkshaw* (Railway Union), Nina Heisterkamp (Railway Union), Hannah
Humphries (GK, UCC), Hannah Irwin (Ulster Elks), Mia Jennings (Loreto), Suzie Kelly (Hermes-Monkstown), Jane Kilpatrick (Loughborough, England), Ruth Maguire (Captain, Pegasus), Erica Markey (Trinity), Grace McLoughlin (Railway Union), Hannah McLoughlin (Loreto), Jessica McMaster (Queens), Lizzie Murphy (GK, Hermes-Monkstown), Edel Nyland* (Bremen, Germany), Alex Ogilby* (Clifton, England), Anna Richardson* (UCD), Abbie Russell (captain, UCD), Holly Taggart (Ballymena), Sara Twomey* (captain, UCD), Emma Young (UCD)
*Denotes U23 player
Not available: Emma Buckley, Michelle Carey, Erin Getty, Tori Hastings.
Friday, June 29: Ireland v Wales, 7pm, Santry Avenue
Saturday, June 30: Ireland v Wales, 3.30pm, Santry Avenue
Sunday, July 1: Ireland v Wales, 10.30am, Santry Avenue
Saturday, July 8: Ireland v Chile seniors, 6.30pm, Pembroke
Sunday, July 9: Ireland v Chile seniors, 4pm, Pembroke
July 14-22: Six Nations tournament: Belgium, Canada, GB, India, Ireland, Netherlands