Greg McWilliams has named eight uncapped players in his Ireland squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Japan.

The back-to-back matches in August form part of a summer programme for McWilliams' young side.

Former Fiji coach John McKee has been added to the Ireland coaching team and will travel to Japan.

Forwards Clara Nielson, Jo Brown and Taryn Schulzter are named in the squad for the first time having impressed during a series of recent camps at the IRFU High Performance Centre, while backs Aoife Dalton, Dannah O’Brien, Emma Tilly, Kayla Waldron and Leah Tarpey also receive their first call-ups.

Dalton, O’Brien, Tilly and Tarpey are all part of the IRFU’s Women’s National Talent Squad, which was launched earlier this year. Ireland will again be captained by Nichola Fryday.

They first face Japan at Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi City, Shizuoka on Saturday 20 August, before a second Test against Lesley McKenzie’s team a week later at the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo.

The two teams most recently faced each other during the 2021 November internationals at the RDS, with Ireland earning a 15-12 win.

Japan, currently ranked 12th in the world, are coming off the back of a historic Test victory over Australia and are currently preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in October.

Alice O’Dowd, Aoibheann Reilly, Aoife Wafer, Eimear Considine, Ellen Murphy, Kathryn Dane, Nikki Caughey and Niamh Byrne were all unavailable for selection.

"We’re excited to finalise the touring squad for Japan having trained together as an extended group of 50 players since May," said McWilliams.

"This summer programme was designed to expose us to new environments and challenges and it has been brilliant to work with the group for an extended period leading up to our departure for Japan. We look forward to two tough Test matches and the positive experience touring will bring for the players and staff."

IRELAND SQUAD

Forwards: Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians RFC/Munster)Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)Clara Nielson* (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)Edel McMahon (Wasps/IQ Rugby)Emma Hooban (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)Jo Brown* (Worcester/IQ Rugby)Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)Laura Feely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)Linda Djougang (ASM Romagnat Rugby/Leinster)Maeve Óg O’Leary (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster)Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht)(Captain)Sam Monaghan (TBC)Taryn Schulzter* (Saracens/Ulster)

Backs: Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)Aoife Dalton* (Tullamore/Leinster)Dannah O’Brien* (Tullow RFC/Leinster)Emma Tilly* (MU Barnhall RFC/Leinster)Enya Breen (TBC/Munster)Kayla Waldron* (Hamilton Hawks/IQ Rugby)Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks RFC/IQ Rugby)Leah Tarpey* (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians RFC/Munster).


Japan v Ireland, Saturday, August 20, Ecopa Stadium

Japan v Ireland, Saturday, August 27, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium

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