Head coach Tom Tierney has confirmed the Ireland Women’s team, sponsored by Aon, to play Wales in Saturday’s Six Nations encounter at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 11.30am).
Tom Tierney’s selection for the round 4 fixture shows three personnel changes and one positional switch to the side that defeated France 13-10 in memorable fashion at Donnybrook.
Wingers Alison Miller and Hannah Tyrrell return to the back-line having been involved with the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad for the Las Vegas leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.
Claire McLaughlin, who sustained an ankle injury in training, misses out and her place at inside centre will be filled by Sene Naoupu, who is also back from a stint at the USA 7s.
The positional switch sees Kim Flood move to full-back having played on the wing in the France game. Galwegians’ Mairead Coyne drops to the replacements bench.
Ireland’s forwards are unchanged, with Lindsay Peat, Leah Lyons and Ailis Egan forming the starting front row for the fourth match in succession. Old Belvedere duo Marie Louise Reilly and Sophie Spence will pack down together in the second row, and number 8 and captain Paula Fitzpatrick is again joined by flankers Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy in the back row.
Speaking ahead of the trip to the Welsh capital, Tierney said: “The squad has been developing nicely over the course of the Championship, and while it was great to get the win against France in the last game, we haven’t dwelt on that and have firmly turned our attention to the challenge the Welsh will give us.
“We are expecting Wales to be very much up for this game and there is set to be a big crowd in the Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday. With that in mind, it will be important that the players stay fully focused on their jobs and that we go out on Saturday ready to perform.
“We’d also encourage any Ireland fans that are in town for the men’s game on Friday evening and are still in Cardiff on Saturday to come to the game and give the team their support.”
Wales Women v Ireland Women tickets can be bought online here. Seating – £15, Standing – £10/£5 U-16s. Tickets will be available to purchase online until 12pm on Friday. After this, tickets can only be purchased in person from the WRU ticket office on Westgate Street, Cardiff, CF10 1NS.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Wales, 2017 Women’s Six Nations Championship, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Saturday, March 11, kick-off 11.30am):
15. Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
14. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster) (capt)
16. Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht)
17. Ilse van Staden (Cooke/Ulster)
18. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht)
19. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster)
20. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht)
21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
22. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster)
23. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht)
IRELAND WOMEN’S Management –
Anthony Eddy – Director of Women’s Rugby
Tom Tierney – Head Coach
Declan O’Brien – Assistant Coach
Derek Dowling – Scrum Coach
Tanya Abbas-Curran – Team Manager
Ed Slattery – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Nathan Buckley – Video Analyst
Emma Gallivan – Physiotherapist
Alan Farrell – Team Doctor
Marcus Shortall – Nutritionist
Rory Wilson – Squad Co-ordinator
Sam O’Byrne – Media Officer
IRELAND WOMEN’S Six Nations Schedule:
Friday, February 3
Scotland Women 15 Ireland Women 22, Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow
Sunday, February 12
Italy Women 3 Ireland Women 27, Stadio Tommaso Fattori, L’Aquila
Sunday, February 26
Ireland Women 13 France Women 10, Donnybrook Stadium
Saturday, March 11
Wales Women v Ireland Women, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, 11.30am (live on RTE Two)
Friday, March 17
Ireland Women v England Women, Donnybrook Stadium, 8pm (live on RTE Two/Sky Sports)