The Ireland team to play the USA in their opening Pool B game of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup has been named.
Head coach Philip Doyle has selected an experienced side, with an impressive 14 out of the starting 15 players boasting Grand Slam medals from 2013.
Niamh Briggs is named at full-back with Ashleigh Baxter and Alison Miller completing the back-three combination.
In the centre, the vastly experienced Lynne Cantwell is partnered by Grace Davitt with Nora Stapleton and the recalled Tania Rosser featuring together at half-back.
Captain Fiona Coghlan (pictured below with the Women’s World Cup trophy) is joined in the front row by Ailis Egan and hooker Gillian Bourke.
Marie Louise Reilly and Sophie Spence link up in a powerful second row pairing with Siobhan Fleming and Claire Molloy joining number 8 Heather O’Brien in the back row.
Speaking ahead of the World Cup opener, Doyle said: “The team selection was a difficult one, we are in a very lucky position of having a strong squad to pick from.
“The atmosphere has been building up in camp all week and it’s time to go. The players can’t wait to get out on the pitch and get the campaign started.”
This much-anticipated clash between Ireland and America will be televised live on TG4, with coverage beginning at 3.50pm Irish time.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v USA, IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup – Pool B, Marcoussis, Paris, France, Friday, August 1, kick-off 5pm local time/4pm Irish time):
15. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
14. Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
13. Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile)
12. Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster)
11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster)
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt)
2. Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
6. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8. Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster)
16. Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
17. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
18. Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
19. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
20. Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile)
21. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
22. Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile)
2014 IRB WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP:
POOL B FIXTURES –
Friday, August 1: IRELAND v USA, Marcoussis pitch 3, 5pm local time/4pm Irish time
Tuesday, August 5: New Zealand v IRELAND, Marcoussis pitch 1, 6pm local time/5pm Irish time
Saturday, August 9: IRELAND v Kazakhstan, Marcoussis pitch 3, 1pm local time/12pm Irish time