Head coach Tom Tierney has confirmed the Ireland Women’s team, sponsored by Aon, to take on England in the Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam decider at Donnybrook on Friday (kick-off 8pm).
The side for the final round showdown shows one change from last weekend’s 12-7 win over Wales, as scrum half Larissa Muldoon is back into the starting line-up from the bench.
The front row of Lindsay, Peat, Leah Lyons and Ailis Egan, who have contributed four tries between them during the tournament, will line out together for the fifth successive match. Behind them in the second row, Sophie Spence will again partner Marie Louise Reilly who is set to win her 50th Ireland cap on Friday night.
Flankers Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy will pack down with number 8 and captain Paula Fitzpatrick in a dynamic back row for their sixth consecutive game.
Out-half Nora Stapleton, the player-of-the-match in Cardiff, is partnered by fellow Donegal native Muldoon at half-back, and the increasingly influential Jenny Murphy and Sene Naoupu continue as the starting centres.
Alison Miller, the scorer of a hat-trick of tries against England during the 2013 Grand Slam, and Hannah Tyrrell, who has touched down twice in her last two games, will form the back-three with skilful full-back Kim Flood.
Speaking ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day clash, Tom Tierney said: “There’s a very strong spirit in this squad that’s been developing nicely over the last few months and, while the performances to date haven’t been as accurate or as clinical as we would have liked, we’ve ground out four wins in a row to set up a very big game this Friday in Donnybrook.
“England are arriving to Dublin on the back of a huge win against Scotland so their confidence will be high, and deservedly so. The have shown throughout the Championship that they can score tries from anywhere and they have a strong and skilful pack as well.
“From our point of view, we have a huge opportunity on St. Patrick’s Day and for us it’s about looking to rectify some of the areas of our game that we haven’t been happy with over the past few weeks and if we can make those small changes, then Friday’s game should be a great one.”
The finale to the Women’s Six Nations Championship is part of a double header at Donnybrook, as the Ireland Under-20s face their English counterparts in the earlier match at 6pm. Limited tickets are available to buy online here.
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v England, 2017 Women’s Six Nations Championship, Donnybrook Stadium, Friday, March 17, kick-off 8pm):
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. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
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. Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht)
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 7 Ireland Women 12, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Friday, March 17
Ireland Women v England Women, Donnybrook Stadium, 8pm (live on RTE Two/’Game On’ 2fm/Sky Sports Mix)