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Ireland Women’s Team Confirmed For November Series Opener

Ireland Women’s Team Confirmed For November Series Opener

Ireland Women’s head coach Tom Tierney has named the team, sponsored by Aon, to face England Women at 2pm this Sunday at the UCD Bowl.

This is the first of Ireland’s November Series games, with Canada to follow on Saturday, November 19 and New Zealand on Sunday, November 27.

Tom Tierney is without some of his more experienced players this weekend due to injuries. Captain Niamh Briggs is one of those sidelined as she continues to rehab a hamstring injury she picked up in a recent club game, however he has named an exciting squad with one new cap in the starting line-up, and two more new caps on the bench.

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Nicole Fowley of Galwegians will win her first cap as she partners Sene Naoupu in the centre, while forwards Leah Lyons (Highfield) and Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians) will be looking to win their first Ireland caps from the bench on Sunday afternoon.

In the front row, Lindsay Peat will make her first start for Ireland at loosehead prop, winning her fifth cap in the process. She will be joined by her Railway Union club-mate Cliodhna Moloney at hooker and Old Belvedere’s Ailis Egan at tighthead.

The experienced Marie Louise Reilly is joined by Orla Fitzsimons in the second row, and the back row is made up of Ciara Griffin, Claire Molloy and Paula Fitzpatrick. St. Mary’s star Fitzpatrick will captain the side from number 8.

The dynamic half-back partnership of Larissa Muldoon and Nora Stapleton leads a back-line that includes centres Naoupu and Fowley, Ireland Sevens international Alison Miller and UL Bohemians’ Niamh Kavanagh on the wings and Galwegians’ Mairead Coyne at full-back.

In the replacements, the aforementioned Lyons and Pearse will be looking to win their first Ireland caps if they are called upon. They are joined on the bench by fellow Munster players Fiona Hayes and Fiona Reidy, as well as Katie Norris from Blackrock. Mary Healy, Nikki Caughey and Jackie Shiels are the reserve backs.

Speaking about Ireland’s first ever November Series, Tierney said: “This weekend marks the first game of what is arguably going to be the biggest season in the history of Irish Women’s rugby.

“The Women’s Rugby World Cup is now less than nine months away, and while there’s a lot of rugby to be played between now and then, the players are very eager to run out at UCD this Sunday and get things underway in our first ever November Series.

“We’re without some of our more experienced players this weekend, but this gives other members of the squad the opportunity to develop their game and get some much-needed experience themselves.

“Starting this weekend, we’ll play three games in three weeks against some very competitive opposition and this is important as we prepare for the pool games of the World Cup in UCD.”
This Sunday’s encounter with England will be streamed live via Irish Rugby TV. Tickets for the Women’s November Series are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ie/womensrugby.

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v England Women, Women’s November Series, UCD Bowl, Sunday, November 13, kick-off 2pm):

15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/Connacht) *
12. Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
5. Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster) (capt)

16. Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster) *
17. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
18. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
19. Katie Norris (Blackrock/Leinster)
20. Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
21. Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht)
22. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster)
23. Jackie Shiels (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player

Sunday, November 13:

Ireland Women v England Women, UCD Bowl, 2pm

Saturday, November 19:

Ireland Women v Canada Women, UCD Bowl, 2pm

Wednesday, November 23:

Canada Women v New Zealand Women, Donnybrook, 1pm

Sunday, November 27:

Ireland Women v New Zealand Women, UCD Bowl, 2pm

Next August, Ireland will host the Women’s Rugby World Cup. For more information visit www.irishrugby.ie/Ireland2017.