Women's Six Nations: Ireland include uncapped Ailsa Hughes for Scotland opener

Ireland coach Tom Tierney
Tierney's Ireland will be favourites to beat a Scottish side who failed to qualify for this year's World Cup
RBS Women's Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland
Venue: Broadway Stadium, Glasgow Date: Friday, 3 February Kick-off: 18:35 GMT Coverage: Match report on BBC Sport website

Ireland women's coach Tom Tierney has picked uncapped scrum-half Ailsa Hughes for Friday's Six Nations opener against Scotland in Glasgow.

With regular skipper Niamh Briggs ruled out by injury, number eight Paula Fitzpatrick will captain the side.

Hooker Leah Lyons will earn her second cap at the Broadway Stadium.

Ulster prop Ilse Van Staden joins other uncapped players Ciara O'Connor, Jennie Finlay and Eimear Considine in the Ireland replacements.

Another Ulster player Claire McLaughlin is also named on bench.

Highfield's Lyons is joined in the front-row by props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan while experienced Marie-Louise Reilly joins St Mary's College player Orla Fitzsimons at lock.

The back-row will see flankers Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy pack down with Fitzpatrick.

Uncapped Hughes will partner experienced Nora Stapleton at half-back with Sene Naoupu, Jenny Murphy, Alison Miller, Niamh Kavanagh and Mairead Coyne also named behind the scrum.

Ireland favourites to beat Scotland

Ireland will be strong favourites against a Scottish team which has failed to qualify for next year's World Cup but coach Tierney is warning his side against complacency.

"The first game of the Six Nations is always a big challenge, as it's very difficult to know what the opposition are going to throw at you," said Tierney.

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."

After Friday's game against Scotland, the Irish face Italy in L'Aquila nine days later.

Donnybrook hosts the game against France on 26 February with Tierney's side facing Wales in Cardiff on 11 March before completing their campaign at home to England on 16 March.

Ireland women's team: M Coyne (Connacht); N Kavanagh (Munster), J Murphy (Leinster), S Naoupa (Aylesford Bulls), A Miller (Connacht); N Stapleton (Leinster), A Hughes (Leinster); L Peat (Leinster), L Lyons (Munster), A Egan (Belvedere); O Fitzsimons (Leinster), ML Reilly (Leinster); C Griffin (Munster), C Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), P Fitzpatrick (Leinster) capt.

Replacements: J Finlay (Leinster), I Van Staden (Ulster), C O'Connor (Connacht), E Anthony (Munster), N Fryday (Connacht), M Healy (Connacht), C McLaughlin (Ulster), E Considine (Munster)

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