Both Ireland and France made winning starts to the Women’s RBS 6 Nations last weekend. The girls in green will be hoping for a similar result here to their 7-5 victory over the French in the 2009 campaign.
2011 WOMEN’S RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: Friday, February 11
IRELAND WOMEN (2nd) v FRANCE WOMEN (1st), Ashbourne RFC, 7.30pm
Team News: The Ireland Women’s team to play France in the first home game of the Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship has been named.
Head coach Philip Doyle has named an unchanged side for Friday’s match, with Geraldine Rea, the player of the match against Italy, continuing her centre partnership with the experienced Lynne Cantwell.
Rea was one of seven new caps for Ireland in the 26-5 victory in Rovigo last Sunday. Try-scoring winger Niamh Kavanagh and replacements Stacey Kennedy, Deirdre O’Brien, Heather O’Brien, Larissa Muldoon and Gill Nolan were the others.
Fiona Coghlan, the try scorer in Ireland’s historic win over France at this venue in 2009, captains the side from the front row, where she is joined by the in-form Gillian Bourke and Lauren Day.
Ireland will again play their home games at Ashbourne RFC during this year’s Championship. They have attracted big crowds to the ground in recent seasons and are hoping to build on that over the coming weeks.
Admission prices are as follows: Admission: Car (four people) €;20, adults €;10 and children/students €;5.
Supporters can avail of a special bus from Dublin to Ashbourne on Friday night – click here for more.
Meanwhile, France venture to these shores with their confidence boosted by last week’s thumping nine-try 53-3 victory over Scotland in Viry-Châtillon.
Montpellier centre Elodie Poublan had a dream start to the Six Nations when running in five tries against the Scots, including a first half hat-trick.
French coaches Christian Galonnier and Nathalie Amiel have made one change to the back-line from the opening game, with Nadege Casenave preferred to Audrey Parra at out-half.
Marine de Nadai comes in for her first start in the second row, and Lise Arricastre and Laetitia Salles have been selected in the front row after impressive run-outs as replacements against Scotland.
IRELAND WOMEN: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile), Geraldine Rea (Highfield/Munster),Mairead Kelly (UL Bohemians/Munster); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Gillian Bourke (Bristol/Munster), Lauren Day (Waterloo/Ulster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Carol Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster).
Replacements: Stacey Kennedy (City of Derry/Ulster), Emer McManamly (Blackrock/Leinster), Deirdre O’Brien (Blackrock/Leinster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exile), Gill Nolan (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Leinster).
FRANCE WOMEN: Caroline Ladagnous (Lons); Laurelin Fourcade (Bobigny), Elodie Poublan (Montpellier), Sandrine Agricole (Rennes), Dioni Aguerre (Bayonne); Nadege Casenave (Lons), Marie Alice Yahé (Perpignan) (capt); Lise Arricastre (Lons), Laetitia Salles (Perpignan), Christelle Chobet (Perpignan), Marine de Nadai (Montpellier), Cyrielle Bouisset (Perpignan), Koumiba Djossouvi (Lons), Marie Charlotte Hebel (Rennes), Aida Ba (Bobigny).
Replacements: Gaelle Mignot (Montpellier), Helene Ezanno (Rennes), Celine Barthélémy (Bordeaux), Manon André (Saint Orens), Myriam Loyez (Perpignan), Audrey Parra (Montpellier), Aurelie Bailon (Perpignan).
Referee: Federica Guerzoni (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Eanna O’Dowd, Sean Gallagher (both Ireland)
Pre-Match Quotes: Philip Doyle (Ireland Women) – “We have a brand new squad this season and we capped a lot of new players last weekend. We have a very short turnaround time this week and we felt the need for continuity and to bed in the combinations.
“The French are a big challenge and it will be a stern test for some of the new girls, but we are looking forward to playing in Ashbourne as we have been getting great support there in recent seasons.”
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Meetings –
2008: Women’s RBS 6 Nations: France Women 26 Ireland Women 17, Saint Gratien, Paris
2009: Women’s RBS 6 Nations: Ireland Women 7 France Women 5, Ashbourne RFC
2010: Women’s RBS 6 Nations: France Women 19 Ireland Women 9, Stade des Allees, Blois