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Claire Molloy has returned to the Ireland squad for the re-scheduled Six Nations fixtures against Italy and France in October and November.

The former Ireland captain took a sabbatical from international rugby last year to focus on her medical career.

She will link up with the squad for a two-day training camp at the IRFU High Performance Centre this weekend, giving head coach Adam Griggs a boost ahead of their first game back from lockdown at the end of October.

Ireland step up their preparations for the visit of Italy to Energia Park on Sunday 25th October (kick-off 1pm).

The announcement of 69-time capped Molloy's return came alongside the news of injuries to Edel McMahon, Claire McLaughlin and Aoife McDermott.

The two back rowers and second-rower have all been ruled out for the remainder of the Six Nations championship.

Claire Molloy of Ireland is tackled by Kelsi Stockert of USA during the Women's International Rugby match between Ireland and USA at Energia Park in Donnybrook

The 34-player squad

Griggs named a 34-player squad ahead of the first two-day camp, as Ireland build towards the conclusion of the 2020 Championship and beyond to December’s Rugby World Cup 2021 European Qualifiers.

“While it’s an unfortunate setback and timing for Edel, Aoife and Claire, they are all highly motivated and diligent players who I know will get stuck into the rehab and get themselves back fit and in contention for the World Cup Qualifiers,” Griggs said in a statement released by the IRFU.

“The squad have made major strides over the last year and there is healthy competition for places.

"Each two-day camp now gives us an opportunity to focus on lifting our intensity and the quality of our training, where we will challenge the players to replicate match-like demands so that come the end of October we are ready to perform and keep the standards we set out at the start of this competition.”

Ireland return to action with a Round 4 clash against Italy before travelling to Lille to face France on Sunday, October 1st (kick-off, 1.30pm).

The Rugby World Cup 2021 European Qualifiers are scheduled to be played as a single round-robin tournament on the weekends of December 5th, 12th and 19th.

Claire Molloy of Ireland is tackled by Pauline Bourdon, left, and Caroline Thomas of France during the Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and France at Energia Park in Donnybrook

Ireland Squad For Women’s Six Nations:

Backs:

Enya Breen (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/ 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 College/ Leinster)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Claire Keohane (Railway Union/ Munster)
Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Ellen Murphy (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Beibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College/ Connacht)
Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Shannon Touhey (Suttonians/ Connacht)*
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)

Forwards:

Judy Bobbett (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Anna Caplice (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby)
Ciara Cooney (Wasps / IQ Rugby)
Victoria Dabanovich O’Mahony (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
Laura Feely (Blackrock College/ Connacht)
Nichola Fryday (Blackrock College/ Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Neve Jones (Malone/Ulster)*
Leah Lyons (Harlequins/ IQ Rugby)
Claire Molloy (Wasps / IQ Rugby)
Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps/ IQ Rugby)
Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College/ Leinster)
Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union/ Leinster)*
Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster)
Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College/ Munster)

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6 Nations Aoife Mcdermott Claire Mclaughlin Claire Molloy Edel Mcmahon France Ireland Italy Six Nations

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