Women’s World Cup hosts Ireland have suffered a major blow after captain Niamh Briggs was ruled out of the tournament with an Achilles injury.
The 32-year-old full-back missed the Six Nations because of a hamstring injury but had recovered and was named skipper for the World Cup.
However, Briggs has suffered an Achilles injury in training.
Munster’s Louise Galvin has been called up as her replacement while the new captain will be named later this week.
“Both the players and management are really disappointed for Niamh as everyone has seen the incredible work and effort she’s put in over the last number of months in an attempt to get herself right for this tournament,” said head coach Tom Tierney.
“For her to have recovered well from her hamstring injury and then suffer a new injury is really unfortunate for her, as everyone knows how much she was looking forward to leading the team in the World Cup.”
Ireland will take on Australia, Japan and France in their World Cup pool next month with only the winners guaranteed a semi-final place.
The three pool winners will be joined by the best second-placed team in the semi-finals at Kingspan Stadium with the final also taking place at the Ravenhill venue in Belfast.
Ireland women’s World Cup squad
Forwards: Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Backs: Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Harlequins FC), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)