Claire Molloy has been confirmed as Ireland captain for the Women's Rugby World Cup after Niamh Briggs was forced out of the tournament with an Achilles injury.

Molloy, capped 53 times for her country, is heading for her third World Cup and takes over the role from the talismanic Briggs, cruelly ruled out earlier this week having battled back from a hamstring problem that saw her miss the Six Nations.

Munster's Louise Galvin has replaced Briggs in the panel.

"Claire is one of the most experienced players in the squad, and having competed at two previous World Cups, she's very much aware of the challenges that lie ahead," said head coach Tom Tierney.

"She has been one of the most out-standing performers for Ireland over the past number of seasons and has demonstrated her durability and consistency over the course of these campaigns. Since we began our World Cup preparations she has shown great leadership qualities and she thoroughly deserves the captaincy.

"Whenever Claire pulls on the green jersey she plays with huge pride and commitment, and I've no doubt that she will lead the side admirably throughout the tournament." 

Molloy spoke of her pride at leading the host nation out, and is desperate to hit the ground running when the tournament kicks off with a clash against Australia at the UCD Bowl next Wednesday.

"I'm incredibly humbled to be given the opportunity to captain my country, it's a massive honour to be selected to lead the team in a World Cup on home soil.

"I'm fortunate that I'll be surrounded by players with great experience, and I'm just really looking forward to pulling on the green jersey and running out with my teammates."

The 29-year-old plays her club rugby with Bristol, where she also works as a doctor. 

The former Galway GAA player has previous experience leading her country, having captained the Ireland Women's 7s during the 2013 Sevens Rugby World Cup in Russia.


Ireland v Australia, UCD Bowl, 7pm, Wednesday 9 August,

Ireland v Japan, UCD Bowl, 5.15pm, Sunday 13 August

Ireland v France, UCD Bowl, 7.45pm, Thursday 17 August

Watch all of Ireland's games live on RTÉ Sport and the RTÉ Player (ROI only)