Ireland Women's Rugby head coach Adam Griggs has described newly-appointed captain Ciara Griffin as a "natural leader" and says the flanker has earned the right to skipper her country.

The 17-times capped international made her Ireland debut two years ago against Wales in the Six Nations and succeeds Claire Molloy, who is part of the 38-strong training squad for the Championship.

Griffin was part of the Munster side that claimed this season's inter-provincial title in December and Griggs says she has earned her opportunity.

"Having watched all of the interprovincial games, as well as reviewing Ireland's games from the past couple of seasons - Ciara stood out to me as a natural leader," he said.

"What's clear to me is that she is hugely passionate about pulling on the red jersey of Munster and the green jersey of Ireland and every time she takes the field, not only does she give everything she has, she also has the ability to help others lift their game when needed."

Munster's Ciara Griffin overcome with emotion following the inter-provincial success in December 

Griffin says she is excited to lead her country into a new campaign.

"I'm delighted to have been asked by Adam to captain the side, I feel so proud to represent my country, and to captain the side is the ultimate honour," she said.

"We have gotten through a lot of work over the last number of camps and things are shaping up well ahead of the Six Nations getting underway.

"With the new coaching team and some new players involved, alongside those with lots of international experience, I'm really looking forward to kicking things off over in France in a few weeks' time."

Ireland will open their campaign away to France on 3 February in Toulouse.

They will then play Italy, Wales and Scotland at home in Donnybrook before meeting England in their final game at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.