Hannah Clarke has backed Ireland to build on the positives they took from their defeat against England as they entertain hosts Italy in the Six Nations Summer Series.

The Connacht wing was one of two Ireland try scorers, along with Chisom Ugwueru, in the 33-10 loss which kicked off their competition last Thursday.

Clarke is confident Ireland can bounce back against a side who opened up with a win against Scotland in Round 1.

“One of our big things is giving 100 per cent effort at all times,” Clarke said. “It is really important to the team.

“Also our communication. It is very hot out there and we tend to get tired, once we talk to each other and bring each other on, it is important.

“I’m hoping we give a really great team performance in both of the next games.

“Both games are very important. I think as long as we gel together, work together and give 100 per cent effort, we are going to come out with a good result regardless of the score.

“We are really excited to work on our England performance. We’re excited to show what we can do and give ourselves the best opportunities.

“We’ve done very good video analysis, we’re prepared and we know what we’re up against.

“We can’t underestimate Italy, they are a very good team, but we’re going to try and give it our best performance possible.”

For this inaugural Summer Series, Ireland Under-20s head coach Niamh Briggs has put together a squad with the potential of forming the bedrock of the senior women’s side in the years to come. 

The likes of Clarke, Beth Buttimer and Kelly Burke are still Under-19s eligible and will reap the long-term rewards of pitting themselves against the best age grade players that the northern hemisphere has to offer.

Clarke hails from a rugby-mad family, her earliest memories are of playing the sport and Clarke finding her feet with Oughterard RFC.

The wing's father, Jack, is an ex-Ireland international who represented the country at the 1991 Rugby World Cup and came out of retirement aged 50 to represent the club, for whom her brother Ben also turns out.

Following her try-scoring exploits against England last Thursday, the family group chat was full to the brim with praise for Clarke and both parents will be there in person for the Italy fixture.

“My family have always been very rugby oriented,” she explained. “My brother and my dad both played, so from when I came out of nappies I had a rugby ball in my hand.

“They’ve been so supportive, and my coaches. They’ve really helped me get this far.

“My dad kept playing until he was 50. He’s a big inspiration for me, as is my brother. He’s such a good leader on his team and I aspire to be as good a leader as him.”

The Women’s Summer Series is available to fans all over the world via exclusive coverage on the Six Nations U20 YouTube channels, with supporting coverage across dedicated U20 Six Nations social media channels.