Head coach Adam Griggs has confirmed the Ireland Women’s team (sponsored by Aon) to take on England at Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Friday (kick-off 5.30pm).
The selected side for Ireland’s final game of the 2018 Women’s Six Nations shows three personnel changes and three positional switches to the one that lost 15-12 to Scotland at Donnybrook last Sunday afternoon.
Hannah Tyrrell moves to full-back where she takes over from the benched Kim Flood, with fellow Sevens international Louise Galvin stepping up to make her first Six Nations start on the left wing. Tyrrell made four appearances at full-back during last year’s World Cup.
Nicole Cronin gets the nod at scrum half, having been promoted from the bench to make her first Six Nations start. She links up at half-back with UL Bohemians and Munster team-mate Niamh Briggs, who kicked the decisive penalty in Ireland’s most recent win over England in February 2015.
Up front, Paula Fitzpatrick shifts from number 8 to the second row where she teams up with impressive newcomer Aoife McDermott. Ashleigh Baxter, who made her Six Nations return last weekend off the bench, slots in at blindside flanker for the final round with captain Ciara Griffin making the move to number 8.
Railway Union lock Ciara Cooney makes a welcome return to the matchday squad. Her quicker-than-expected recovery from an ankle injury sustained against France in the opening round sees her gain a bench spot, while UL Bohemians back rower Anna Caplice has also been added to the replacements.
Speaking ahead of the clash in Coventry, Adam Griggs said: “We have big test ahead of us playing England at home in our last game of the tournament. They could potently still win the tournament and we have no doubt they will want to finish the tournament on a positive note.
“We have a huge opportunity, and we want to rectify some of the areas of our game that we haven’t been happy with over the past few weeks. If we can make those small changes, then Friday evening’s game should be a great one.”
IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v England Women, 2018 Womens Six Nations Championship, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Friday, March 16, kick-off 5.30pm):
15. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
14. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
13. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
11. Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
10. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
9. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster)
3. Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)
5. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
6. Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol)
8. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt)
16. Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht)
17. Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)
18. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
19. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster)
20. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster)
21. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster)
22. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster)
23. Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
IRELAND WOMEN – 2018 SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS/FIXTURES:
France Women 24 Ireland Women 0, Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, Saturday, February 3
Ireland Women 21 Italy Women 8, Donnybrook, Sunday, February 11
Ireland Women 35 Wales Women 12, Donnybrook, Sunday, February 25
Ireland Women 12 Scotland Women 15, Donnybrook
England Women v Ireland Women, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Friday, March 16, 5.30pm – Buy Match Tickets