Uncapped Tullamore duo in Ireland women's squad for Japan tour
Two uncapped Tullamore RFC players, Aoife Dalton and Leah Tarpey, have been selected on the Ireland women's squad for the upcoming Test series against Japan.
Both Dalton and Tarpey play for Leinster and now they are in line to feature at international level. Having impressed during a series of recent camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre, Aoife and Leah have been called up to the national squad.
Former Tullamore players Nichola Fryday - the Kilcormac native is the current Ireland captain - and Ailsa Hughes are also part of the squad, while Shannon Tuohy is on the standby list.
Tarpey and Dalton are among eight uncapped players in the travelling squad for Japan, the others being Clara Nielson, Jo Brown, Taryn Schulzter, Kayla Waldron, Dannah O'Brien and Emma Tilly (see full squad below).
Ireland will open the series against Japan at Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi City, Shizuoka on Saturday, August 20, before a second Test against Lesley McKenzie’s team a week later, on Saturday, August 27, at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo.
The two teams most recently faced each other during the 2021 November internationals at the RDS, with Ireland earning a 15-12 win on that occasion.
Japan, currently ranked 12th in the world, are coming off the back of a historic Test victory over Australia and are currently preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in October.
Commenting on the squad (sponsored by Aon), Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams said: "We're excited to finalise the touring squad for Japan having trained together as an extended group of 50 players since May. There is a strong mix of youth and experience in the panel and this is a great opportunity for the uncapped and young players, some of whom have come up through the pathway and the National Talent Squad programme.
"This summer programme was designed to expose us to new environments and challenges and it has been brilliant to work with the group for an extended period leading up to our departure for Japan. We look forward to two tough Test matches and the positive experience touring will bring for the players and staff."
Former Fiji coach John McKee has been added to the Ireland coaching team for the summer programme and will travel to Japan.
Ireland women's rugby squad - Japan Tour
Forwards: Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians RFC/Munster); Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster); Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby); Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster); Edel McMahon (Wasps/IQ Rugby); Emma Hooban (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster); Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby); Hannah O'Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster); Jo Brown (Worcester/IQ Rugby); Katie O'Dwyer (Railway Union RFC/Leinster); Laura Feely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht); Linda Djougang (ASM Romagnat Rugby/Leinster); Maeve Óg O'Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster); Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster); Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht, captain); Sam Monaghan (TBC); Taryn Schulzter (Saracens/Ulster).
Backs: Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster); Aoife Dalton (Tullamore RFC/Leinster); Dannah O'Brien (Tullow RFC/Leinster); Emma Tilly (MU Barnhall RFC/Leinster); Enya Breen (TBC/Munster); Kayla Waldron (Hamilton Hawks/IQ Rugby); Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks RFC/IQ Rugby); Leah Tarpey (Tullamore RFC/Leinster); Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster); Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster); Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians RFC/Munster).
Standby list: Aoife McDermott, Ella Roberts, Hannah Duffy, Jessica Keating, Jorja Battishill, Kate Flannery, Leah Lyons, Meabh Deely, Muirne Wall, Shannon Tuohy and Vicky Irwin.