Coaches Fielies Coetsee and Jason Lewis have selected an experienced squad that includes a second row pairing of Liza Burgess and Claire Donovan with more than one hundred and thirty caps between them and a wing, Louise Rickard, who will earn her ninetieth cap against the Irish.
"Last year we were an unknown quantity. Almost no one was expecting us to do well, so maybe the other teams didn't do very well in terms of preparation. It's different now, as people know that Wales are a good side, so our rivals will do their homework better," said Coetsee. "We have changed our game plan a little bit for this year to counteract the fact that the opposition will be studying DVDs of our play more.
"Ireland have improved continuously over the past few years and their new coaching team will certainly help galvanise their squad. We are not sitting back from our successes of last season and hope to have a good performance result to kick start our Six Nations campaign."
Italy have joined the fold in place of Spain and the Women's Six Nations competition now officially comes under the auspices of the Six Nations committee. The tournament will run in parallel with both the men's and U21 campaigns and there will be a new trophy up for grabs.
Wales Women: Elen Evans (Dolgellau); Rhian Williams (Wasps), Rachel Poolman (UWIC), Clare Flowers (Clifton), Louise Rickard (Saracens); Naomi Thomas (Clifton), Mellissa Berry (Worcester, captain); Louise Horgan (Saracens), Rhian Bowden (UWIC), Jenny Davies (Waterloo), Liza Burgess (Clifton), Claire Donovan (Saracens), Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins), Jamie Kift (Clifton), Kylie Wilson (Clifton)
Replacements: Amy Broadstock (Llandaff North), Hannah Roberts (UWIC), Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun), Nicola Evans (Wasps), Becky Davies (Cardiff Quins), Stacey Saunders (Tylorstown), Hayley Baxter (Cardiff Quins)