Ireland Women’s team named to face France

Ireland Women’s team named to face France

Head Coach Adam Griggs has made five changes to the starting side who narrowly lost to Italy a fortnight ago in Parma.

Ulster players Claire McLaughlin (number 8) and Kathryn Dane (scrumhalf) will start the game, while Claire Boles is among the replacements.

Enya Breen will make her debut, replacing the injured Michelle Claffey in midfield alongside Sene Naoupu.

Lauren Delaney, Eimear Considine and Alison Miller form the back three with Nicole Fowley and Dane named in the half back positions.

Up front, Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird makes her first start of the tournament at hooker, alongside Laura Feely and Fiona Reidy. Juliet Short returns to the squad, starting in the second row alongside Nichola Fryday.

Captain, Ciara Griffin moves to flanker, with McLaughlin starting at number 8 and Claire Molloy completing the pack.

With nearly 4,000 tickets sold the match is on course for another bumper crowd. Buy your ticket online now.

Speaking ahead of the test Griggs said,

“We have a big fortnight ahead of us with two tough matches to finish this competition off. We’ve put a lot of work in since Italy to rectify some of the areas that we felt let us down and cost us that result.

“We need to be clinical when we get into good areas of the field and put teams under pressure with our physicality and strong defence to make teams work harder for their points. There have been a lot of positives in each game we’ve played and we must keep building on them along with our work-ons to put together a more comprehensive performance.

“France is no mean feat and we know they are coming to Dublin to try and get a result. They are the current champions for a reason and are coming here on the back of two good wins, but we know if we can get our detail right we can put them under pressure and make them have to re think the way they approach this game.

“The atmosphere in Energia Park has been fantastic. There was a record crowd against England and we’re expecting another great turnout on Saturday night . I know the team want to give the supporters a really strong performance and show them we are grateful for their support.”

The match will be broadcast live by RTE, with coverage beginning at 6.45pm

Ireland Women’s team and replacements to play France (Women’s Six Nations, Energia Park, Dublin, Saturday 9th March, 7.00pm):
15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo/ IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
13. Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/ Munster) *
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/ Connacht)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/ Connacht)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/ Connacht)
2. Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/ Munster)
4. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/ Connacht)
5. Juliet Short (Railway Union/ Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/ Munster) Capt
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/ Ulster)

Replacements:
16. Emma Hooban (St Mary’s College/ Leinster)
17. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/ Leinster)
18. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire Boles (Railway Union / Ulster)
21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/ Munster)
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)
23. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/ Leinster)

*Denotes uncapped at this level