Women's Six Nations: Sene Naoupu named in Ireland squad after neck surgery

Sene Naoupu has earned 37 Ireland caps
Sene Naoupu has won 37 caps for Ireland since making her debut in 2015

Leinster centre Sene Naoupu has been named in Ireland's squad for their remaining Women's Six Nations matches, just four weeks after having surgery to remove a tumour from her neck.

The 36-year-old has been included in a 36-strong squad by coach Adam Griggs.

The tumour was discovered when Naoupu had a scan following a head injury playing against England in February.

Ireland are third in the Six Nations table and host Italy on 24 October before finishing away to France.

Munster co-captain Chloe Pearse has beeen recalled and could win her first cap since 2016.

Connacht's Shannon Touhey, Ulster's Neve Jones and Leinster's Katie O'Dwyer could also make their debuts.

Munster back-row Ciara Griffin will continue as captain.

The Women's Six Nations was postponed in March following the outbreak of coronavirus.

Exact dates and kick-off times for the rescheduled matches have yet to be confirmed.

"We're picking up where we left off over five months ago - we've a busy few months ahead and look forward to playing rugby again," said Griggs.

Following the Six Nations, Ireland will be head straight into World Cup qualification matches in December.

Along with Scotland, Italy and the winner of the Women's Rugby Europe Championship that finishes in October, they will all play each other once on 5, 12 and 19 December.

The overall winner will then qualify for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand.

Ireland squad:

Backs: Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster), Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/ Munster), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/ Munster), Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster), Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks/ IQ Rugby), Aoife Doyle (Railway Union/ Munster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/ Leinster), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster), Claire Keohane (Railway Union/ Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/ Leinster), Ellen Murphy (Blackrock/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster), Beibhinn Parsons (Blackrock/ Connacht), Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/ Munster), Shannon Touhey (Suttonians/ Connacht)*, Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster).

Forwards: Judy Bobbett (Blackrock/ Leinster), Anna Caplice (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/ Leinster), Victoria Dabanovich O'Mahony (Old Belvedere/ Leinster), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster), Laura Feeley (Blackrock/ Connacht), Nichola Fryday (Old Belvedere/ Connacht), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/ Munster), Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster), Leah Lyons (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster), Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster), Edel McMahon (Wasps/ IQ Rugby), Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/ IQ Rugby), Hannah O'Connor (Blackrock/ Leinster), Katie O'Dwyer (Railway Union/ Leinster), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian/ Munster), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster), Dorothy Wall (Railway Union/ Munster).

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