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Ulster pair will get their chance to stake a claim for a Six Nations place

By Adam McKendry

Ulster have two representatives in the Ireland Women’s squad for their upcoming Six Nations warm-up match against Wales.

New head coach Adam Griggs has named a 25-strong squad for the game in Ystrad Mynach on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).

Among them are Ulster duo Claire McLaughlin of Cooke and Malone prop Ilse van Staden, both of whom will be eager to impress Griggs in his first game in charge of the side.

There are seven uncapped players named in the squad, including Galwegians duo Laura Feely and Edel McMahon, and Railway Union second row Aoife McDermott in the forward ranks.

In the backs, Blackrock centre Michelle Claffey, Old Belvedere’s Megan Williams, Railway Union’s Susan Vaughan and the UK-based Annette Tomas of Abbey Ladies are all selected.

The side will be led for the first time by flanker Ciara Griffin, whose appointment as Ireland’s new captain was made earlier this week.

“We’ve had some very productive camps and the trip to Wales will give us the chance to test out new combinations and look at some of the key areas the players have been working on,” head coach Griggs commented on his first squad announcement.

“There’s a number of uncapped players included who have impressed in the interprovincial games before Christmas and during our recent camps, so I’m looking forward to seeing them test themselves at international level and hopefully giving me some selection headaches.”

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