Ireland begin their RBS Women’s Six Nations campaign in earnest once again after last year’s Grand Slam.
Donegal duo Larissa Muldoon and Nora Stapleton were at the cockpit of events 12 months ago in the half-back positions as the Irish team enjoyed their most memorable campaign yet.
Muldoon, a native of Cappry, lined up at scrum-half last year alongside fly-half Stapleton from Fahan.
This is a huge year for the la been drawn in Pool B of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 alongside Kazakhstan, USA and New Zealand in France.
Before that, there’s the matter of the defence of the Six Nations with the competition opening on Friday when Scotland visit Ashbourne, Co Meath.
Stapleton, who plays now with Old Belvedere and Leinster, will win a 19th cap in the number 10 jersey, while Muldoon, who plays for Bristol and the Exiles having went to Cardiff Metropolitan College, begins the championship on a replacements’ bench.
France welcome England and Wales entertain Scotland on Saturday afternoon.
Ireland also have a Friday night appointment for their second match, when Wales come to Ashbourne before travelling to face England at Twickenham on Saturday, February 22, and getting the opportunity to play at the Aviva Stadium against Italy on Saturday, March 8.
Ireland conclude their fixtures against France at the Stade du Hameau in Pau on Friday, March 14.
“We had a good win against the Scots last year but we will need to put in a similar performance this time round to we get a positive result,” Philip Doyle.
“It is great to be starting off the campaign in Ashbourne and hopefully we can deliver a strong performance.”