Along with John Hayes receiving his 100th cap for Ireland, Irish rugby will hit another centenary milestone with the Ireland Women’s team playing their 100th international game this weekend.
Ireland Women’s coach Kevin West has named his team for this historic clash with England, which includes eight changes to the side that was defeated by France 19-9 in their last outing.
Six players have been promoted from the bench, Chris Fanning, Lauren Day, Kate O’Loughlin and Claire Molloy take their place in the forwards and Helen Brosnan and Nora Stapleton come in to the backs.
West has made two positional changes with Amy Davis switching from right to left wing and Joanne O’Sullivan moving from out-half to centre.
Speaking of the task ahead, West said: “We are aware of the significance of the 100th Irish Women’s game and the entire squad and management team are immensely proud to be involved in such a momentous occasion.
“But aside from that occasion, we are aware we have a big task ahead of us. This is an important game, England have yet to concede a score in this year’s Championship.
“From our side, we have been concentrating on our set pieces and are looking forward to the challenge.”
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v England Women, RBS Women’s 6 Nations Championship, Sunday, February 28, Esher RFC, Surrey, kick-off 3pm):
15 – Niamh Briggs (Clonmel/Munster)
14 – Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13 – Joanne O’Sullivan (Richmond/Exile)
12 – Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster)
11 – Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster)
10 – Helen Brosnan (Highfield/Munster)
9 – Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster)
1- Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt)
2 – Chris Fanning (Highfield/Munster)
3 – Lauren Day (Cooke/Ulster)
4 – Kate O’Loughlin (Clonmel/Munster)
5 – Marie Louise Reilly (Navan/Leinster)
6 – Orla Brennan (Blackrock/Leinster)
7 – Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8 – Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)
16 – Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
17 – Emer McManamly (Blackrock/Leinster)
18 – Louise Austin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
19 – Carol Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht)
20 – Louise Beamish (UL Bohemians/Munster)
21 – Grace Davitt (Blackrock/Leinster)
22 – Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)
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