Munster’s Maeve Óg O’Leary and Alana McInerney among uncapped players selected in Irish squad for Autumn Tests

9 February 2020; Ireland captain Ciara Griffin, right, and her team-mates look on during the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Wales at Energia Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

THE Irish Women’s squad for the upcoming Autumn Tests against the USA and Japan has been revealed, including eight Munster players.

UL Bohemians and Munster back-row Ciara Griffin will captain Ireland once again for the back-to-back Autumn Tests at the RDS, she’s joined in the squad by fellow Irish and Munster rugby veterans Chloe Pearse and Eimear Considine.

Yet what’s most interesting is the inclusion of six uncapped players in the Adam Griggs coached squad, among the six newcomers are two of Munster’s Interprovincial Championship winners Maeve Óg O’Leary and Alana McInerney.

Munster Women’s player of the year Dorothy Wall is the most notable absentee from the squad due to injury, while Brittany Hogan is also ruled out due to injury.

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Other uncapped players include Leinster’s Ella Roberts and Mary Healy, as well as Connacht’s Shannon Touhey and Grace Browne Moran. The squad also sees the return of many familiar faces, such as prop Lindsay Peat and centre Sene Naoupu.

The 33-strong panel also boasts a number of big names from the sevens circuit, such as out-half Stacey Flood and wingers Beibhinn Parsons and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.

However, their time in the Irish camp is likely to be cut short due to the imminent shift in focus to the Irish Women’s Sevens side’s preparations for the upcoming Dubai World Series event.

This will be Adam Griggs’ final stint as head coach due to him being succeeded by new head coach Greg McWilliams, who is set to take over after this international window.

The former USA Eagles assistant coach could spend some time in camp over the coming weeks as part of the change-over and preparations for next year’s Six Nations.

Ireland’s fixtures are set to take place at the RDS, with the USA in town on Friday, 12th of November and Japan coming to Ballsbridge on Saturday, the 20th of November.

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