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Ireland Women’s Team Named For Italy

Ireland Women’s Team Named For Italy

Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle has made two changes to the starting line-up for the trip to Milan on Sunday afternoon.

Grace Davitt comes into the centre, alongside Lynne Cantwell, in place of Jenny Murphy who picked up a hamstring injury in the 15-10 victory over France.

Niamh Kavanagh will start on the right wing in place of Ashleigh Baxter who moves to the replacements bench.

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Heather O’Brien and Shannon Houston have been included on the bench for the much-anticipated Grand Slam decider which will be broadcast live from Milan on RTÉ Two, with coverage beginning at 1.45pm.

Ireland are already the RBS 6 Nations champions having won all four of their games to date, and now travel to Italy hoping to complete an historic Grand Slam.

Speaking ahead of the game, head coach Philip Doyle said: “It’s a testament to Ross Callaghan’s strength and conditioning of the squad that we have got this far without injury.

“Unfortunately Jenny picked up a knock in the last game and she is missing this weekend, but it’s great that we have the depth in the squad that we can call on Grace to easily slip into the starting line-up.”

He added: “We know it’s a huge task ahead of us this weekend and there is a lot of expectation on our shoulders, but at the end of the day it’s a game of rugby that we have to go out to win and it will be treated as another international match that the team are well up for.

“Italy has shown in their past matches that they are very resilient and without doubt will be a huge task for our girls to break them down.”

Ireland v Italy: Facts & Figures

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Italy Women, 2013 Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship, Venegoni Stadium, Parabiago, Milan, Sunday, March 17, kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time):

15. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile)
12. Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster)
11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exile)
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt)
2. Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Sophie Spence (Mowden Park Sharks/Exile)
5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
6. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Exile)
8. Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)


16. Stacey-Lea Kennedy (City of Derry/Ulster)
17. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
18. Lauren Day (Waterloo/Exile)
19. Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster)
20. Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
21. Amy Davis (Blackrock College/Ulster)
22. Shannon Houston (Blackrock College/Leinster)
23. Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)


Sunday, February 3, 1.30pm – Wales Women 10 Ireland Women 12, Talbot Athletic Ground
Saturday, February 9, 2pm – Ireland Women 25 England Women 0, Ashbourne RFC
Saturday February 23, 2pm – Scotland Women 3 Ireland Women 30, Lasswade
Friday, March 8, 7.30pm – Ireland Women 15 France Women 10, Ashbourne RFC
Sunday, March 17, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time – Italy Women v Ireland Women, Parabiago, Milan