Six days after claiming a record win over Wales, the Ireland Women’s team are back in action at Ashbourne RFC where they hope to make it three wins on the trot by beating Scotland. You can watch tonight’s game live on Irish Rugby TV.
2012 WOMEN’S RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: Friday, March 9
IRELAND WOMEN (3rd) v SCOTLAND WOMEN (5th), Ashbourne RFC, 7.30pm (live on Irish Rugby TV)
* Irish Rugby TV will stream tonight’s game live on the website, with a commentary team featuring Adrian Barry and Ireland international Nora Stapleton.
Team News: The Ireland Women’s team to play Scotland Women at Ashbourne RFC on Friday night has been named.
There is one change to the starting line-up with Paula Fitzpatrick making her first start of the Six Nations Championship in the front row between captain Fiona Coghlan and Ailis Egan.
Gillian Bourke, one of the try scorers in last weekend’s record-breaking 36-0 victory over Wales, moves to the replacements bench.
The experienced Shannon Houston has also been recalled to the squad and is named as one of the reserve backs.
Ireland are third in the Six Nations table following a five-try win over Italy, a single point loss to France and last Saturday’s six-try demolition of the Welsh.
The girls in green have been superb in both defence and attack so far in the 2012 Championship, running in 13 tries and conceding only 18 points, including two tries, in their three games to date.
Ireland will be quietly confident of extending their winning streak having beaten Scotland on six successive occasions since 2007, including a 32-8 play-off victory at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Place-kicking centre Niamh Briggs told scrumqueens.com: “We have two more matches left and it seems like the tournament is flying, Scotland this Friday is our last home game promises to be a tough and physical battle.
“Scotland are a proud rugby nation and they are always very tough to play against. They have some excellent ball players across the park and we will need to be on top of game to get a win.”
Meanwhile, out-half Tanya Griffith returns to the Scotland side as they look to regroup after losing 23-0 at home to France a fortnight ago.
Indeed, the Scots have lost all three of their games to date and have failed to score a single point. Their other outings have finished in defeats to England (47-0) and Wales (20-0).
Their head coach Karen Findlay said: “Ireland will be a massive challenge away from home. Both teams will look to play rugby and to defend hard so it should be a good game.”
Hooker Alison Macdonald, back rower Tess Forsberg and out-half Lisa Martin move to the replacements bench, completing the four changes to the squad that lost to the French at Bridgehaugh.
IRELAND WOMEN: Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster); Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield/Connacht); Lynne Cantwell (Exile), Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Exile), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster).
Replacements: Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC/Ulster), Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster), Jennifer Murphy (Exile).
SCOTLAND WOMEN: Stephanie Johnston (RHC Cougars); Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers), Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lisa Ritchie (Carlisle), Sarah Dixon (Stirling County); Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars), Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars); Tracy Balmer (Worcester), Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers), Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers), Anna Swan (RHC Cougars), Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Lindsay Wheeler (Richmond), Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers), Susie Brown (Richmond) (capt).
Replacements: Alison Macdonald (RHC Cougars), Heather Lockhart (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Katherine Muir (Richmond), Charlotte Veale (London Wasps), Tess Forsberg (Richmond), Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lauren Harris (Melrose).
Referee: Sylvie Bros (France)
Assistant Referees: Eanna O’Dowd, Gary Glennon (both Ireland)
Pre-Match Quotes: Philip Doyle (Ireland Women) – “The win over Wales was fantastic and we enjoyed it, but next day the focus switched to Scotland.
“We have put ourselves in a good position and the girls are playing some great rugby. This week has been about fine-tuning things and again the commitment in training has been excellent.”
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Meetings –
2009: RBS Women’s 6 Nations: Scotland Women 0 Ireland Women 23, Boroughmuir RFC, Meggetland
2011: RBS Women’s 6 Nations: Scotland Women 5 Ireland Women 22, Lasswade RFC, Edinburgh