Ciara Griffin will captain Ireland in her final game before retirement, one of seven players retained in the starting line-up for this Saturday's Test with Japan at the RDS.

The 27-year-old shocked the Irish rugby community when she confirmed her decision to retire on Tuesday, and will depart the Test scene along with head coach Adam Griggs following Saturday's end-of-year game versus Japan (live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player).

However, veteran prop Lindsay Peat is not included in the matchday 23, fueling speculation that last week's victory against the USA was her last in an Irish shirt.

Griffin and flanker Edel McMahon are retained in the back row following last week's win against the Eagles, while Hannah O'Connor replaces Anna Caplice at number eight.

Sam Monaghan continues in the second row where she is joined by the returning Aoife McDermott, while it's an all new front row of Laura Feely, Neve Jones and Linda Djougang.

In the backline, Stacey Flood and Beibhinn Parsons drop out of the starting team as they prepare to travel to Dubai with the Irish Sevens team, while Eve Higgins and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe are also unavailable for similar reasons.

Flood's absence means a first start at out-half for Enya Breen, who joins Kathryn Dane in the half backs. The centre combination of Sene Naoupu and Eimear Considine is retained, as is Lauren Delany at full-back and Laura Sheehan on the right wing, with Aoife Doyle starting on the left wing for her first Test appearance since February 2020.

Head coach Griggs hands out three Test debuts among his replacements, with Leinster duo Mary Healy and Ella Roberts and Connacht back Shannon Touhey all included for the first time.

Ireland: Lauren Delany; Aoife Doyle, Eimear Considine, Sene Naoupu, Laura Sheehan; Enya Breen, Kathryn Dane; Laura Feely, Neve Jones, Linda Djougang; Aoife McDermott, Sam Monaghan; Ciara Griffin, Edel McMahon, Hannah O'Connor

Replacements: Cliodhna Moloney, Katie O’Dwyer, Mary Healy, Anna Caplice, Maeve Og O’Leary, Alisa Hughes, Shannon Touhey, Ella Roberts

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