Ulster Women’s scrum-half Kathryn Dane is set to earn her first Ireland senior cap on Friday evening, as she is named among the replacements for the Women’s Six Nations opener versus England (Energia Park, 5.00pm).
Should she be called upon from the bench, it will be another significant achievement for the talented 22-year-old from Enniskillen.
A former Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup winning captain with Enniskillen Collegiate, Dane’s slick passing, high fitness levels and leadership qualities ear-marked her as a player with huge potential. She has represented Ulster at U18 level with distinction, and has featured in the Ulster Senior Women’s team throughout the last three inter-provincial campaigns, and indeed won the Ulster Women’s Player of the Year in her first year on the squad.
Kathryn has also worn the green jersey of Ireland at U17 level, when she was part of the national 7s squad.
In addition to her rugby prowess, Kathryn is an accomplished hockey player and has represented Northern Ireland in football at U17 level.
Dane will be one of two Ulster Women in the Ireland squad this weekend, with her Provincial teammate Claire McLaughlin also named among the replacements. McLaughlin is now heading into her fourth Six Nations campaign, having made her bow in the March 2016 win over Wales. McLaughlin has recently made a successful transition from centre to the back row.
The third Ulster player in the Six Nations panel, Claire Boles, also an Enniskillen native, did not make the match-day squad for the tournament opener. Malone RFC’s Neve Jones was also initially named in the extended squad that played Wales, but had to withdraw due to illness.
Ireland Women’s team and replacement to play England (Women’s Six Nations, Friday 1st February 2019, Energia Park, Donnybrook, 5.00pm):
15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
12. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/ Leinster)
11. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/ Leinster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
2. Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/ Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
6. Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) Capt
16. Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
17. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster) *
18. Anne Marie O’Hora (Galwegians/ Connacht) *
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
21. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster) *
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
23. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
*Denotes Uncapped player at this level
Ireland Women’s Team – Women’s Six Nations 2019 Fixtures:
Friday 1 February: Ireland v England, Donnybrook, 5pm
Friday 8 February: Scotland v Ireland, Scotstoun, 7.35pm
Saturday 23 February: Italy v Ireland, Parma, 6.30pm
Saturday 9 March: Ireland v France, Donnybrook, 7pm
Sunday 17 March: Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30pm