Women’s Six Nations 2024: Cliodhna Moloney has ‘gotten head down and worked hard’ since Ireland recall

Home » Women’s Six Nations 2024: Cliodhna Moloney has ‘gotten head down and worked hard’ since Ireland recall

Cliodhna Moloney has slotted “pretty seamlessly” back into the Ireland squad as she prepares to earn her first cap in more than two years, says defence coach Declan Danaher.

Exeter hooker Moloney was named on the bench for Ireland’s Women’s Six Nations game against Wales in Cork on Saturday.

Moloney has not played for Ireland since 2021 after criticising the Irish Rugby Football Union on social media.

“She’s gotten her head down and worked hard,” said Danaher.

“She’s obviously had to learn new line-out calls and a couple of other bits and pieces around how we’re going to attack Wales. She’s gone on and done her job.

“It’s been a good week and we’ve enjoyed having her in.”

Moloney, who was recalled before the Wales match following an injury to Sarah Delaney, was Ireland’s first-choice hooker during the 2021 Six Nations.

However, Gloucester-Hartpury’s Neve Jones has retained the number two jersey, having started the first two games of this year’s championship.

“We’ve obviously been keeping an eye on her,” former London Irish back row Danaher said when asked how close Moloney came to being named in the starting line-up.

“We had an injury last week to Sarah Delaney so there was a need to bring a hooker in. It was an opportunity to bring Cliodhna in. Getting her into camp, the first two days, getting her head around what the learning would be for her from a line-out and attack and defence point of view.

“Neve is obviously playing incredibly well so it’s great to have two hookers who are playing in the Women’s Premiership in England at a high standard.

“You can see the standard of the competition and the ability to come in and fit in pretty seamlessly is a testament to that competition.”

Despite losing 27-21 to Italy in Dublin last time out, Ireland head coach Scott Bemand has made just one change with co-captain Edel McMahon recalled after being left out against the Italians.

“One change is a testament to the performance of the players,” said Danaher.

“We obviously reviewed on Monday and looked at how we can take some of the lessons from the Italy game and apply them against Wales.

“We had a pretty decent first 20 minutes, just didn’t come away with enough points for all the territory and possession we had.

“The good thing is we’re creating those opportunities. It would be far worse if we were trying to create them and it’s how can we convert one or two more of those to give us momentum.”

Like Ireland, Wales are searching for their first win of the campaign after defeats by Scotland and England. Wales beat Ireland 31-5 when the sides met in Cardiff last year with the Irish still looking for a first Six Nations win since 2022.

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