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Tierney urging his girls to focus after skipper Briggs' injury blow

By Robert Jones

Ireland's women will begin their Six Nations campaign on Friday night in Scotland without their influential skipper Niamh Briggs.

The full-back has failed to recover from injury, which hands Mairead Coyne an opportunity to impress in the No.15 jersey.

Tom Tierney has named five uncapped players in his match-day squad, including Leinster's Alisa Hughes, who gets the nod at scrum-half.

Ireland's bench includes an entire front-row who are yet to win a cap, while former Clare footballer Eimear Considine will also be hoping to make her first appearance.

Jenny Murphy and Alison Miller, who have both featured regularly for the Ireland Sevens side, will provide plenty of experience in the backline with the excellent Sene Naoupu in her usual No.12 shirt.

Up front, Highfield hooker Leah Lyons, who won her first cap back in November, is partnered in the front-row by props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan. "Scotland in front of their home crowd will be looking to give their fans something to get excited about, so it's really important that we go into the game fully focused," Tierney warned.

IRELAND (v Scotland): M Coyne; N Kavanagh, J Murphy, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Stapleton, A Hughes*; L Peat, L Lyons, A Egan; O Fitzsimons, M-L Reilly; C Griffin, C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick (capt). Reps: J Finlay*, I van Staden*, C O'Connor*, E Anthony, N Fryday, M Healy, C McLaughlin, E Considine*.

(*denotes uncapped player)

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