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One New Cap For Ireland Women Against France

One New Cap For Ireland Women Against France

The Ireland Women's team line up for the anthems prior to their Six Nations opener against England in Donnybrook last month ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland Women’s head coach Adam Griggs has made five personnel changes to the team to play France in their eagerly-awaited Women’s Six Nations match at Energia Park on Saturday (kick-off 7pm).

19-year-old UL Bohemians starlet Enya Breen will make her Ireland debut, replacing Michelle Claffey who had to undergo surgery on an ankle injury and will miss the rest of the tournament. Newcomer Breen, who played in January’s warm-up win over Wales, joins Sene Naoupu in the centre.

The rest of the back-line is unchanged from the 29-27 defeat to Italy as Lauren Delany, Eimear Considine, who bagged a brace of tries in Parma, and Alison Miller form the back-three again, while Old Belvedere youngster Kathryn Dane gets her second successive start alongside Nicole Fowley at half-back.

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Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird comes in for her first start after two appearances off the bench, slotting in at hooker with Fiona Reidy taking over at tighthead prop from the injured Leah Lyons (AC joint) who could be out for six weeks. Juliet Short comes in for her second start of the tournament, but this time it is in the second row.

A rejigged back row sees Ulster’s Claire McLaughlin get the nod at number 8, with captain Ciara Griffin reverting to blindside flanker and Claire Molloy staying at openside. The bench is boosted by the return of scrum half Nicole Cronin from an Achilles injury, while Megan Williams is back in the matchday squad after missing the Italy game.

With nearly 4,000 tickets sold, Saturday’s fourth round clash is on course to draw another bumper crowd to Donnybrook. Buy your ticket(s) online from Ticketmaster.ie. There will be live coverage of the game on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Radio 1.

Looking forward to the resumption of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, Griggs said:

We have a big fortnight ahead of us with two tough matches to finish this competition off. We’ve put a lot of work in since Italy to rectify some of the areas that we felt let us down and cost us that result. We need to be clinical when we get into good areas of the field and put teams under pressure with our physicality and strong defence to make teams work harder for their points.

“There have been a lot of positives in each game we’ve played and we must keep building on them along with our work-ons to put together a more comprehensive performance. France is no mean feat and we know they are coming to Dublin to try and get a result.

“They are the current champions for a reason and are coming here on the back of two good wins. But we know if we can get our detail right we can put them under pressure and make them have to re think the way they approach this game.

“The atmosphere in Energia Park has been fantastic. There was a record crowd there for the recent game against England, and we’re expecting another great turnout on Saturday night. I know the team want to give the supporters a really strong performance and show them we are grateful for their support.”

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v France Women, 2019 Women’s Six Nations Championship, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Saturday, March 9, kick-off 7pm):

15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
10. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/Connacht)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)
2. Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemians/Munster)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
4. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/Connacht)
5. Juliet Short (Railway Union/Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/Ulster)


16. Emma Hooban (St. Mary’s/Leinster)
17. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
18. Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
19. Anna Caplice (Richmond)
20. Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster)
21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
23. Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped player at this level


Friday, February 1:

IRELAND WOMEN 7 ENGLAND WOMEN 51, Energia Park, Donnybrook

Friday, February 8:

SCOTLAND WOMEN 5 IRELAND WOMEN 22, Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow

Saturday, February 23:

ITALY WOMEN 29 IRELAND WOMEN 27, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma

Saturday, March 9:

IRELAND WOMEN v FRANCE WOMEN, Energia Park, Donnybrook, 7pm (live RTÉ/France Televisions) – Buy Tickets

Sunday, March 17:

WALES WOMEN v IRELAND WOMEN, Cardiff Arms Park, 1.30pm (live RTÉ/S4C)