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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

WRWC 2017 Team News: Match Day 2

WRWC 2017 Team News: Match Day 2

The Sunday schedule for the second round of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 contains some mouth-watering meetings, including the USA v Spain in Pool B and France v Australia in Pool C.

2017 WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP – MATCH DAY 2: Sunday, August 13


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NEW ZEALAND (2nd) v HONG KONG (4th), Billings Park, 12pm

New Zealand head coach Glenn Moore has made nine personnel changes and two positional switches as the Black Ferns field a much-changed team for Sunday’s second round date with Pool A minnows Hong Kong.

Captain Fiao’o Fa’amausili is joined by Sosoli Talawadua and Aleisha Nelson in a new-look front row. Fa’amausili will go level with New Zealand’s joint-record caps holders, Anna Richards and Emma Jensen (49 Tests each).

The newly-introduced Charlene Gubb and Charmaine Smith combine in the second row, while Sarah Goss switches from openside to blindside flanker, with Bay of Plenty’s Lesley Ketu and Charmaine McMenamin from Auckland completing the back row.

Half-backs Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali and Kendra Cocksedge and star winger Portia Woodman are the only players retained in a back-line that sees Hazel Tubic, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Chelsea Alley and Carla Hohepa promoted from the bench and the extended squad.

Moore said that making changes to the team was always part of the plan for the World Cup. He acknowledged: “Sos played particularly well in the June Series and she deserves her start (in the front row).

“Hazel is also a really talented player with a good kicking game and pace, and she understands the game really well. We’re really excited to give all the players we’ve named a chance to shine.”

The Black Ferns boss added: “The four-day match turnaround puts a lot of pressure on players and we want to ensure they are in the best possible shape for the entire tournament.

“This is an important game for us. There were certain things we were really pleased about in our (44-12) win over Wales. But there were also a couple of areas we were disappointed in. We need to improve on those and further build in the areas we did well in.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong head coach Jo Hull has made 10 personnel changes to the team, with Royce Chan Leong-sze starting at hooker and Christine Gordon lining out at number 8 in an effort to prevent New Zealand from establishing too much momentum in the forwards.

Changes in the back-line see the 21-year-old ‘BB’ Lee Tsz-ting feature at out-half with emerging star Kelsie Bouttle (18) getting her first start at centre and Lau Sze-wa coming in at full-back. Hong Kong’s first ever World Cup match ended in a 98-point hammering at the hands of Canada.

“We have four games just as hard as Canada, so the selection reflects the need to use all of the squad to manage that. Part of it is managing the player requirement, but also getting selection right for New Zealand,” explained Hull.

“We’ve gone with the team that we think gives us the best chance to halt their momentum. Defensively, we have some strong players on the pitch and are asking our stalwarts to get amongst them. At the same time, we’ve gone with ‘BB’ at 10 because she gives us a nice attacking option. If we have ball in hand we want to play some attractive rugby.”

She added: “Our tackling must improve. We have got to get them to ground quickly and stop them from building any momentum. We gave Canada too much time with the ball. You can only hold out so long defensively if you are letting your opponents generate all of the momentum.

“New Zealand are a seasoned side, so I’m expecting them to be at another level. They are more clinical than Canada. We forced 11 errors against Canada. New Zealand won’t allow that.”

Hull said her players have been thrilled by the experience of being at the World Cup. They have been buoyed by strong support from a large contingent of travelling fans as well as the neutrals at UCD.

“It’s been incredible. The team has been touched by the support we’ve received. Support from the crowd really lifted our performance against Canada. Even at 70 minutes, we were attacking, lifted by the crowd, through what was a rough 80 minutes. We need that to continue over the coming days.

“Some real positives are emerging. We showed warrior toughness against Canada, but it’s not good enoughto leave it at that. We have to back that up now. We need a better performance than last week and against another world class team.”

NEW ZEALAND: Hazel Tubic (Auckland); Portia Woodman (Counties Manukau), Theresa Fitzpatrick (Auckland), Chelsea Alley (North Harbour), Carla Hohepa (Waikato); Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali (Counties Manukau), Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury); Sosoli Talawadua (Waikato), Fiao’o Fa’amausili (Auckland) (capt), Aleisha Nelson (Auckland), Charlene Gubb (Auckland), Charmaine Smith (North Harbour), Sarah Goss (Manawatu), Lesley Ketu (Bay of Plenty), Charmaine McMenamin (Auckland).

Replacements: Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate (Counties Manukau), Toka Natua (Waikato), Aotearoa Mata’u (Counties Manukau), Eloise Blackwell (Auckland), Rebecca Wood (North Harbour), Aroha Savage (Counties Manukau), Kelly Brazier (Otago), Stacey Waaka (Waikato).

HONG KONG: Lau Sze-wa (Valley); Laurel Chor Lik-fung (Valley), Natasha Olson-Thorne (USRC Tigers), Kelsie Bouttle (Valley/ICHK), Chong Ka-yan (Gai Wu); Lee Tsz-ting (Gai Wu/HKBU), Jessica Ho Wai-on (USRC Tigers); Tammy Lau Nga-wun (Gai Wu), Royce Chan Leong-sze (HKFC), Wong Yuen-shan (USRC Tigers/EdUHK), Chow Mei-nam (Gai Wu) (capt), Tsang Sin-yan (Kowloon), Amelie Seure (Valley), Winnie Siu Wing-ni (USRC Tigers), Christine Gordon (Kowloon).

Replacements: Ho Hoi-lam (Gai Wu), Lee Ka-shun (Gai Wu), Pun Wai-yan (Gai Wu/EdUHK), Christy Cheng Ka-chi (Gai Wu), Chan Ka-yan (Gai Wu), Lindsay Varty (USRC Tigers), Rose Hopewell-Fong Siu-lan (HKFC), Colleen Tjosvold (Valley).

Referee: Sara Cox (England)

CANADA (1st) v WALES (3rd), Billings Park, 2.45pm

Wales head coach Rowland Phillips has made two changes to the starting line-up for their Pool C encounter with high-flying Canada. The game will be streamed live on www.s4c.co.uk and the channel’s Chwaraeon Facebook page.

Sian Moore starts at scrum half, having featured off the bench against the Black Ferns on Wednesday, and Jess Kavanagh-Williams gets an opportunity to impress on the left wing in her first matchday involvement of the tournament.

There are two notable changes among the replacements, with hooker Morfudd Ifans in line to win her first cap for Wales, and back rower Shona Powell-Hughes returning to full fitness following an injury in a warm-up match.

“We’ll be looking to cut out the unforced errors against Canada, who are a well-organised, strong and very athletic side,” said Phillips. “We’ve spoken a lot about taking positives out of the game against New Zealand, and that’s something we’ve been working on in the build-up to tomorrow’s match.

“We’re lucky as coaches to be overseeing a highly motivated group of players. Almost as soon as we came off the pitch on Wednesday, we started looking at what we needed to do to challenge what is clearly a very good Canada side. That preparation – which has included a lot of hard work on the training pitch – means we’ll take to the field full of confidence tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Canada head coach Francois Ratier has kept faith with nearly the same team, making just one personnel change for the weekend’s contest with Wales.

With a 98-0 victory over Hong Kong already in their back pocket, Ratier’s only alteration sees the fit-again Julianne Zussman return to the side at full-back, with Elissa Alarie moving to the left wing where she takes over from Frederique Rajotte.

With the trio of Zussman, Magali Harvey and Alarie, the Canadian back-three will once again be a dangerous outfit – one that accounted for seven of Canada’s 16 tries against Hong Kong. Harvey had 41 points in the tournament opener, including five tries, and enters Sunday’s game as the leading WRWC 2017 points and try scorer.

In an unchanged pack, Bolton, Ontario native Kelly Russell (pictured below) will become only the third Canada Women’s rugby player to win 50 caps when she leads the team again from number 8.

This will be the third time Canada and Wales, who are currently 10th in the world rankings, have met in World Cup action. The two countries previously met in 1991 when they played out a 9-9 draw, and in 1994 Wales edged out Canada 11-5. Both games were also in the pool stages.

Canada second row Tyson Beukeboom, who starts on the bench on Sunday, said: “I think the intensity we brought to the game against Hong Kong was a key part of what we wanted to do. In the past we’ve been known to start off slow in the opening 20 minutes and start on the back foot, so we corrected that against Hong Kong.

“Leading into the Wales game I think it was important for us to take care of a few technical items around the contact area and we’ve done that today at training. It’s in our heads now and we’re going to fix that for game two and be ready to face Wales on Sunday.”

CANADA: Julianne Zussman (Castaway Wanderers); Magali Harvey (Club de Rugby de Quebec), Alex Tessier (Montreal Barbarians), Andrea Burk (Capilano RFC), Elissa Alarie (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC); Emily Belchos (Westshore RFC), Lori Josephson (Aurora Barbarians); Carolyn McEwen (Burnaby Lake RFC), Laura Russell (Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC), DaLeaka Menin (Calgary Hornets), Kayla Mack (Saskatoon Wild Oats), Latoya Blackwood (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue RFC/Westshore RFC), Jacey Grusnick (Barrhaven Scottish), Karen Paquin (Club de Rugby de Quebec/Castaway Wanderers), Kelly Russell (Toronto Nomads/Cowichan RFC) (capt).

Replacements: Jane Kirby (Highland Fergus Rugby Club), Brittany Kassil (Guelph Redcoats), Olivia DeMerchant (Woodstock Wildmen/Castaway Wanderers), Tyson Beukeboom (Aurora Barbarians/Cowichan RFC), Barbara Mervin (Westshore RFC), Chelsea Guthrie (Stratchona Druids), Amanda Thornborough (Westshore RFC), Brittany Waters (Meraloma Athletic Club/Castaway Wanderers).

WALES: Dyddgu Hywel (Scarlets); Elen Evans (RGC), Gemma Rowland (Dragons), Hannah Jones (Scarlets), Jess Kavanagh-Williams (Scarlets); Elinor Snowsill (Dragons), Sian Moore (Dragons); Caryl Thomas (Scarlets), Carys Phillips (Ospreys) (capt), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Rebecca Rowe (Dragons), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Rachel Taylor (RGC), Sioned Harries (Scarlets).

Replacements: Morfudd Ifans (Scarlets), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Meg York (Dragons), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys), Keira Bevan (Ospreys), Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys), Jodie Evans (Scarlets).

Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)


ENGLAND (1st) v ITALY (3rd), Billings Park, 2.30pm

England head coach Simon Middleton has made 10 changes to his side for Sunday’s second pool game against Italy (live on ITV 1), as the Red Roses and the Azzurre both run out at Billings Park for the first time.

Emily Scarratt comes in to captain England at outside centre and is joined in the backs by a new half-back pairing of Natasha Hunt and Amber Reed, while Olympian Amy Wilson Hardy is selected on the left wing.

Lock Tamara Taylor begins her fourth World Cup campaign, with Marlie Packer and Alex Matthews added to the back row and the 125-times capped loosehead Rochelle Clark making up a new front row with Amy Cokayne and Justine Lucas.

The defending WRWC champions scored 10 tries in their 56-5 win over Spain on Wednesday afternoon, but Middleton had said he would rotate his squad so every player gets some game-time during the opening two matches.

In February, England beat the Italians, who are ranked ninth in the world, 29-15 in the 2017 Six Nations on their way to the Grand Slam, and have won all 15 of the fixtures between the two nations.

“We have options available to us in terms of selection and running different combinations,” said Middleton. “We want to take full advantage of the depth, talent and experience in the squad. Our aim is to continually build and improve on performance, the team have recovered well and have been working hard over the past two days to ensure we are fully prepared for the next challenge.

“We are expecting a tough and physical encounter. Italy have caused us plenty of problems in the past and are an incredibly talented side.”

The Red Roses are on a 10-match winning run heading into the game against an Italy side who are playing in their first World Cup in 15 years. The Azzurre lost 24-12 to the USA in their opening match in Dublin.

Meanwhile, Italy head coach Andrea di Giandomenico has freshened up his forward pack with the selection of Marta Ferrari and Lucia Gai in the front row, while Valeria Fedrighi and Ilaria Arrighetti have been added to the second row and back row respectively.

Gai and Arrighetti’s Stade Rennais club-mate Melissa Bettoni moves back over to the hooker position, and the loose forwards trio sees Isabella Locatelli switch to openside from blindside and Padova’s Elisa Giordano is now stationed at number 8.

Talented youngster Beatrice Rigoni (22) is the only newcomer in the back-line, getting the nod at inside centre in a 9-10-12 axis with captain Sara Barattin and veteran out-half Veronica Schiavon, who is set for her 80th international appearance.

Scrum half Barattin commented: “Playing England is always challenging. They had a great start to the tournament against Spain and are here to defende the title. In our last two matches against them in the Six Nations, we played well and put them in trouble. Playing them in a World Cup will be even more special – we will try 100% to follow our game-plan.”

ENGLAND: Danielle Waterman (Bristol); Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield) (capt), Rachael Burford (Harlequins), Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol); Amber Reed (Bristol), Natasha Hunt (Lichfield); Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries), Amy Cokayne (Lichfield), Justine Lucas (Lichfield), Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol), Marlie Packer (Bristol), Alex Matthews (Richmond).

Replacements: Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins), Poppy Cleall (Bristol), Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield), Sarah Hunter (Bristol), La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Megan Jones (Bristol).

ITALY: Manuela Furlan (Unattached); Michela Sillari (Harlequins), Maria Grazia Cioffi (Rugby Colorno), Beatrice Rigoni (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Maria Magatti (Rugby Monza 1949); Veronica Schiavon (Yokohama TKM), Sara Barattin (Villorba Rugby) (capt); Marta Ferrari (Stade Rennais), Melissa Bettoni (Stade Rennais), Lucia Gai (Stade Rennais), Valeria Fedrighi (Verona Rugby), Alice Trevisan (Rugby Riviera 1975), Ilaria Arrighetti (Stade Rennais), Isabella Locatelli (Rugby Monza 1949), Elisa Giordano (Valsugana Rugby Padova).

Replacements: Elisa Cucchiella (Rugby Belve Neroverdi), Gaia Giacomoli (Rugby Colorno), Sara Tounesi (Rugby Colorno), Valentina Ruzza (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Silvia Gaudino (Rugby Monza 1949), Sofia Stefan (Stade Rennais), Paola Zangirolami (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Veronica Madia (Rugby Colorno).

Referee: Tim Baker (Hong Kong)

USA (2nd) v SPAIN (4th), UCD Bowl, 2.45pm

Three changes have been made to the USA team that will look to improve their 2017 World Cup record to 2-0 when they face Spain at the UCD Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

New York prop Tiffany Faaee will once again lead the team out, captaining the Eagles from a front row which now includes Samantha Pankey at hooker. Life West’s Catie Benson remains at loosehead after proving to be an effective ball carrier in the USA’s 24-12 win over Italy in midweek.

Abby Gustaitis (pictured below), a try scorer off the bench against the Italians, swaps places with Alycia Washington in the second row, while head coach Pete Steinberg has left the back row untouched after praising Sara Parsons, Kate Zackary and Jordan Gray for ‘really imposing themselves physically on the game’ the last day.

The American back-line is packed full of Sevens pace and power, with the only change seeing Alev Kelter, a 2017 World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team member, chosen to start in midfield alongside fellow Sevens international Nicole Heavirland.

Kristen Thomas scored a brace of tries in the opening round victory, but full-back Cheta Emba and right winger Naya Tapper were just as dangerous on attack. The overall speed of the back-line, although not on full display against Italy according to Steinberg, could be the difference in shutting down Spain’s attack.

“One of the things I feel like we can be really good at is line-speed,” he said. “Spain love to move the ball, so we really need to put them under some defensive pressure. Line-speed and really getting after the contest at the tackle area will be the big things on defence.

“Our structure wasn’t quite right (offensively against Italy), so we weren’t able to source the rucks when it got wide the way we wanted to. We’ll have to make sure our structure is right, but we’re pretty happy with where we are.”

Meanwhile, vice-captain Isabel Rico, Rocio Garcia, Angela del Pan and Vanesa Rial have all been promoted from the bench to start for Spain in their second round meeting with the US Eagles.

Saioa Jaurena, Berta Garcia and Elena Redondo are the players to make way as Rico, the 60-times capped Garcia and del Pan come in at loosehead prop, lock and number 8 respectively. The trio will provide more experience to the Leonas’ scrum, with 114 caps between them.

With Barbara Pla going through the return-to-play protocols following the 56-5 defeat to England, Iera Echebarria moves to full-back and the 20-year-old Uri Barrutieta – set for just her second cap and her World Cup debut – takes up one of the wing spots.

The fifth and final personnel change sees experienced Sevens campaigner Rial come in as Marina Bravo’s centre partner, while Amaia Erbina – one of three CR Cisneros players in the back-line – shifts out wide to complete a new-look back-three.

USA: Cheta Emba (Women’s Eagles Sevens); Naya Tapper (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Nicole Heavirland (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Alev Kelter (Women’s Eagles Sevens), Kristen Thomas (Women’s Eagles Sevens); Kimber Rozier (Harlequins), Deven Owsiany (San Diego Surfers); Catie Benson (Life West), Samantha Pankey (San Diego Surfers), Tiffany Faaee (New York Rugby Club) (capt), Stacey Bridges (Twin Cities Amazons), Abby Gustaitis (Northern Virginia Rugby), Sara Parsons (Northern Virginia Rugby), Kate Zackary (San Diego Surfers), Jordan Gray (Life West).

Replacements: Katy Augustyn (Berkeley All Blues), Jamilla Reinhardt (San Diego Surfers), Hope Rogers (San Diego Surfers), Alycia Washington (New York Rugby Club), Kristine Sommer (Seattle Saracens), Kayla Canett-Oca (Pennsylvania State University), Sylvia Braaten (Twin Cities Amazons), Jessica Javelet (Women’s Eagles Sevens).

SPAIN: Iera Echebarria (Olimpico de Pozuelo); Amaia Erbina (CR Cisneros), Vanesa Rial (CRAT Universidade da Coruna), Marina Bravo (CR Cisneros), Uri Barrutieta (Getxo RT); Patrcia Garcia (FER), Anne Fernandez de Corres (CR Cisneros); Isabel Rico (Olimpico de Pozuelo), Aroa Gonzalez (INEF Barcelona) (capt), Jeanina Vinueza (Saracens RFC), Maria Ribera (XV Sanse Scrum), Rocio Garcia (Lalin RC), Diana Gassó (Gotics RC), Paula Medin (CRAT Universidade da Coruna), Ángela del Pan (INEF Barcelona).

Replacements: Saioa Jaurena (Getxo RT), Isabel Macías (Olimpico de Pozuelo), Laura Delgado (CRAT Universidade da Coruna), Berta Garcia (CRAT Universidade da Coruna), Elena Redondo (Gent RFC), Carmen Pérez (Getxo RT), María Ahís (Olimpico de Pozuelo), María Casado (INEF Barcelona).

Referee: Claire Hodnett (England)


IRELAND (2nd) v JAPAN (4th), UCD Bowl, 5.15pm

The Ireland team to play Japan in their second Pool C match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup features one new cap – scrum half Nicole Cronin, a former Ireland Sevens Player of the Year from Limerick.

Head coach Tom Tierney has made seven personnel changes and two positional switches to the side that defeated Australia on the tournament’s opening night.

Some regular starters are rested with next Thursday’s showdown against France looming large on the horizon, while the Irish management are keen to see the incoming players stake their claims for a starting berth.

Tighthead Ciara O’Connor, who impressed off the bench against the Wallaroos, comes in for her first international start in the front row, replacing Ailis Egan. It will be a fifth start for Ciara Cooney who pairs up with Sophie Spence, an influential try-scoring replacement on Wednesday, in the second row.

The fourth and final change in the forwards sees Kerry’s Ciara Griffin rewarded for her own try-scoring cameo as a replacement. She will join Ashleigh Baxter and Claire Molloy in a rejigged back row, with Ireland’s WRWC 2017 captain moving to number 8.

Cronin (pictured above) will win her first 15s cap for Ireland as she partners the 46-times capped Nora Stapleton at half-back. Sene Naoupu is joined by Wexford native Katie Fitzhenry in the centre, the pair both being dual-code internationals.

Galway woman Mairead Coyne comes in to make her World Cup debut at full-back, meaning Hannah Tyrrell, who scored a try and kicked the match-winning conversion against Japan back in June, reverts to the right wing. Experienced winger Alison Miller completes the back-three.

Sevens international Louise Galvin is standing by to make her 15s debut off the bench, while flanker Anna Caplice and versatile Blackrock back Jeamie Deacon are poised to win their second caps in the green jersey.

Talking about the build-up to the Japan game and the selection, Tierney said: “We had a really tough encounter with Australia in the opening game, and while we came away with the win, there’s a number of areas that we’ve focused on over the past two days that we will need to improve on for tomorrow’s match against Japan.

“We know that the Japanese are going to throw everything at us tomorrow evening. They’re very fit, they like to move the ball wide and they are very quick to the breakdown.

“We’ve made a number of changes to the side from the Australia game with a view to giving some players a rest from what was a very physical game, but we also want to give the other members of the squad the opportunity to show what they can do against a fast and agile Japanese team.”

Meanwhile, looking to bounce back from their 72-14 hammering by France, Japan have made just two enforced changes following big number 8 Mateitoga Bogidraumainadave’s WRWC-ending injury and the suspension of centre Makiko Tomita.

Bogidraumainadave scored a try but also fractured her right leg during that heavy defeat to the French and her loss, in a number of areas, will be keenly felt by the Japanese outfit. Hooker Chihiro Kobayashi has replaced her in their 2017 World Cup squad.

The 21-year-old Maki Takano, who is considerably smaller (69kg compared to 93kg) and less experienced than Bogidraumainadave, will deputise for the Fijian-born powerhouse at number 8. Riho Kurogi comes in for Tomita at inside centre, the latter has been hit with a three-match ban for a dangerous tackle on France’s Carla Neisen in their tournament opener.

The Japanese back-line is particularly youthful with winger Honoka Tsutsumi and Minori Yamamoto both aged 20, Kurogi and full-back Mayu Shimizu (pictured below) are 19, Kurogi’s centre partner Iroha Nagata is 18, while high school scrum half Moe Tsukui is even younger at just 17.

Tsutsumi and Shimizu scored tries in Japan’s 24-22 loss to the girls in green in the first of two uncapped trial games at UCD in early June, while Tsutsumi also crossed the whitewash in the sides’ second clash on the Belfield campus – a 24-15 reversal for Goshi Arimizu’s charges.

IRELAND: Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht); Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Harlequins), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht) (capt).

Replacements: Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Ulster), Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock/Leinster), Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster).

JAPAN: Mayu Shimizu (Nippon Sport Science Univ); Eriko Hirano (Yokohama TKM), Iroha Nagata (Arukas Queen Kumagaya), Riho Kurogi (Arukas Queen Kumagaya), Honoka Tsutsumi (Nippon Sport Science Univ); Minori Yamamoto (Nippon Sport Science Univ), Moe Tsukui (The Second HS, Tokyo University of Agriculture); Makoto Ebuchi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ/Tokyo Phoenix RC), Seina Saito (Pearls) (capt), Saki Minami (Nippon Sport Science Univ), Aoi Mimura (Yokohama TKM), Ayano Sakurai (Nippon Sport Science Univ), Yuki Sue (Arukas Queen Kumagaya), Sayaka Suzuki (RKU Rugby Ryugasaki Grace), Maki Takano (Nippon Sport Science Univ).

Replacements: Misaki Suzuki (Tokyo Phoenix RC), Mizuho Kataoka (Yokohama TKM), Maiko Fujimoto (Yokohama TKM), Aya Nakajima (Arukas Queen Kumagaya), Yui Shiozaki (Tokyo Phoenix RC), Yumeno Noda (Arukas Queen Kumagaya), Ayaka Suzuki (Arukas Queen Kumagaya), AI Tasaka (Arukas Queen Kumagaya).

Referee: Ian Tempest (England)

FRANCE (1st) v AUSTRALIA (3rd), UCD Bowl, 7.45pm

Australia have made just one change to their starting line-up for their second World Cup pool clash. Head coach Paul Verrell has opted to keep the core of his team intact, with only centre Sarah Riordan coming into the side to partner Sharni Williams (pictured below). Kayla Sauvao drops to the bench.

Louise Burrows will have her first taste of game-time at a fourth World Cup, after being called in for injured prop Evelyn Horomia, the 39-year-old veteran named on the bench for the must-win match against France.

Experienced back Ashleigh Hewson will unfortunately miss the game with a niggle. It is a team with no debutants, a rare occasion for the Wallaroos, who had played just a handful of Tests between World Cups.

Verrell said: “We were really pleased with the way the team performed in the match against Ireland after we made nine changes from the final Test of the New Zealand tour, and it’s important now that we look to build combinations within the team.

“Our forwards competed well against an experienced Irish pack and they’ll face a similar challenge this Sunday against the French. Our back-line showed they can be very dangerous with the ball in hand, but we need them to continue to build as we lead into this tussle with the French. The addition of Sarah Riordan will provide us with another strong ball-running option in the midfield.

“The team proved to themselves what they’re capable of against the Irish, and now we need them to continue to perform at that level, whilst also looking to grow and develop as a collective unit.”

Meanwhile, fresh from their 12-try troucing of Japan on day one, France head coach Samuel Cherouk has rung the changes (seven in all) for their UCD Bowl clash with Australia, a side ranked two places below them in the world rankings coming into the tournament.

With Gaëlle Mignot dropping down to the bench, skilful centre Elodie Poublan takes over as captain for what will be her 67th Test outing for les Bleues. She will have Carla Neisen as her centre partner with Caroline Ladagnous, who scored a hat-trick last time out, named as a replacement. Shannon Izar and Chloé Pelle will also make their first starts of WRWC 2017.

Athletic flanker Romane Menager (pictured below), who impressed with two long-range run-ins against Japan, continues in the back row with power-packed number 8 Safi N’Diaye and Marjorie Mayans, who is one of four changes up front.

Lise Arricastre and Caroline Thomas join Julie Duval in the front row, while Mayans’ Blagnac Saint-Orens club-mate, Audrey Forlani, will combine with Lénaïg Corson in the second row as the French look to get the better of an Australian scrum that caused Ireland problems on the opening night.

FRANCE: Monserrat Amedee (Montpellier RC/FFR); Shannon Izar (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois/FFR), Carla Neisen (Blagnac Saint-Orens Rugby Féminin), Elodie Poublan (Montpellier RC) (capt), Chloé Pelle (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois/FFR); Caroline Drouin (Stade Rennais), Yanna Rivoalen (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Lise Arricastre (Lons Rugby Féminin Béarn Pyrénées), Caroline Thomas (ASM Romagnat), Julie Duval (Ovalie Caennaise), Lénaïg Corson (Stade Rennais/FFR), Audrey Forlani (Blagnac Saint-Orens Rugby Féminin), Marjorie Mayans (Blagnac Saint-Orens Rugby Féminin/FFR), Romane Menager (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois), Safi N’Diaye (Montpellier RC).

Replacements: Gaëlle Mignot (Montpellier RC), Dhia Traore (Stade Toulousain), Patricia Carricaburu (Lons Rugby Féminin Béarn Pyrénées), Manon Andre (Blagnac Saint-Orens Rugby Féminin), Julie Annery (AC Bobigny 93), Audrey Abadie (Blagnac Saint-Orens Rugby Féminin), Caroline Ladagnous (AC Bobigny 93/FFR), Camille Grassineau (Stade Francais/FFR).

AUSTRALIA: Samantha Treherne (Queensland/Sunnybank); Nareta Marsters (Queensland/Sunnybank), Sarah Riordan (Australian Defence Force/Victoria/Melbourne), Sharni Williams (Australia Sevens/ACT/Canberra Royals), Mahalia Murphy (Australia Sevens/NSW/Campbell Town); Trilleen Pomare (Western Australia/Wanneroo), Katrina Barker (NSW Country/Newcastle University); Liz Patu (Queensland/Wests), Cheyenne Campbell (Queensland/Redlands), Hilisha Samoa (Queensland/Brothers), Chloe Butler (South Australia/Parramatta), Millie Boyle (ACT/Canberra Royals), Mollie Gray (Australian Defence Force/NSW/Maitland), Shannon Parry (Australian Sevens/Queensland/Redlands), Grace Hamilton (Sydney/Sydney University).

Replacements: Louise Burrows (ACT/Royals), Emily Robinson (Sydney/Warringah), Hana Ngaha (Queensland/Sunnybank), Rebecca Clough (Western Australia/Cottesloe), Alisha Hewett (Australian Defence Force/Queensland/GPS), Fenella Hake (Queensland/Redlands), Kayla Sauvao (Sydney/Parramatta), Ashleigh Timoko (Western Australia/Wanneroo).

Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa)