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Busy Hannah jets in to land starting slot

It has been quite a week for Hannah Tyrrell who, after playing for Ireland in the Sydney 7s last week, is parachuted straight into the starting XV for Sunday's Women's Six Nations clash in Italy.

Tom Tierney has largely kept faith with the side who showed great character to leave Scotland with a bonus-point win last week.

Former Dublin footballer Tyrrell comes on to the right wing in place of Niamh Kavanagh, while the only other change sees Munster second-row Elaine Anthony promoted from the bench to partner Marie-Louise Reilly in the engine room.

Scrum-half Alisa Hughes, who won her first cap last week, will again partner Nora Stapleton.

Paula Fitzpatrick continues to captain the side from No 8 in the absence of regular skipper Niamh Briggs, who again misses out through injury.

However, there is a welcome return for former World Player of the Year nominee Sophie Spence, as she is named among the replacements.

"The Scots really put it up to us and for the players to get that final score to come away with the five points is very pleasing," Tierney said.

"The players are aware of the areas that they need to improve on against Italy. We'll have to be really focused."

Ireland: M Coyne; H Tyrrell, J Murphy, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Stapleton, A Hughes; L Peat, L Lyons, A Egan; E Anthony, M-L Reilly; C Griffin, C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick (capt). Reps: J Finlay, I Van Staden, C O'Connor, C Cooney, S Spence, M Healy, C McLaughlin, E Considine.

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