Jump to main content


Six Nations Preview: Ireland Women v Scotland Women

Six Nations Preview: Ireland Women v Scotland Women

The long wait is over as the Ireland Women’s team return to competitive action tonight at Ashbourne RFC, coming into the 2014 Six Nations as defending champions and the side everyone wants to beat.


IRELAND WOMEN v SCOTLAND WOMEN, Ashbourne RFC, 7.30pm (live Irish Rugby TV stream/’Game On’ RTÉ 2fm)

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Team News: Ireland begin the defence of their Women’s RBS 6 Nations title in Ashbourne on Friday night. The team for the opening game, which will be streamed live on IrishRugby.ie, contains one new cap with Hannah Casey of Saracens and Exiles included.

Casey will make her debut on the right wing as the girls in green open their Championship campaign at home.

There is a familiar feel to the selection to face the Scots with players such as captain Fiona Coghlan, Nora Stapleton, Alison Miller and Lynne Cantwell all set to start.

Niamh Briggs, one of the heroes of last year’s Grand Slam campaign, is on the replacements bench.

There are two other uncapped players named in the squad – Casey’s fellow Saracen Kerrie-Ann Craddock and Orla Fitzsimons from St. Mary’s are among the replacements.

Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle commented: “We had a good win against the Scots last year but we will need to put in a similar performance this time round to we get a positive result.

“It is great to be starting off the campaign in Ashbourne and hopefully we can deliver a strong performance.”

Tickets for the Ireland Women’s matches against Scotland and Wales at Ashbourne RFC will be available for purchase at the gate on matchdays.

Tickets prices are as follows: Adult €;10; Student/child €;5; Cars/buses of more than four people, €;5 per person.

For the two Friday night games, Old Belvedere RFC are running supporters’ buses to Ashbourne from Dublin city. The buses will leave Old Belvedere RFC on Anglesea Road at 6pm sharp and pick up at Jury’s Hotel, Custom House Quay at 6.15pm. The buses will return at about 11pm.

There are two options for those wishing to travel to games on the Old Belvedere buses, and both include entry into the game and the return trip on the bus: a one-game ticket costs €;20 and a two-game ticket costs €;35.

If you would like to reserve seats on the buses, please contact Old Belvedere’s Emer McElhinney (0868892166) or Ann Marie Ruttledge (0871253853).

Meanwhile, Jules Maxton has named her Scotland team to take on the reigning Grand Slam champions, with a vision of building for the future.

Maxton, in her first campaign as head coach, has chosen four uncapped players in the matchday panel for the opening match of the 2014 Championship.

Following an intense training camp last weekend, Deborah McCormack, Lisa Robertson, Emma Wassel and Anna Stodter have been given the chance to gain their first caps at this level.

The youthful squad will still have an essence of experience, with old heads Lindsay Wheeler, Heather Lockhart and Louise Dalgliesh – all whom have broke the 60-cap mark – named in the travelling 23.

IRELAND WOMEN: Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile); Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/UCC/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Amy Davis (Blackrock/Ulster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster).

Replacements: Gill Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), Kerrie-Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster).

SCOTLAND WOMEN: Stephanie Johnston (Worcester); Katy Green (Darlington Mowden Park), Annabel Sergeant (Richmond), Gillian Inglis (Melrose), Megan Gaffney (Hillhead-Jordanhill); Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers); Tracy Balmer (Worcester) (capt), Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lindsay Smith (Hillhead-Jordanhill), Jade Konkel (Hillhead-Jordanhill), Deborah McCormack (Richmond), Tess Forsberg (Richmond), Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lindsay Wheeler (Saracens).

Replacements: Nikki McLeod (Stirling County), Lisa Robertson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Heather Lockhart (Hillhead-Jordanhill), Emma Wassel (Murrayfield Wanderers), Anna Stodter (Loughborough University), Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars), Tanya Griffiths (RHC Cougars), Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers).

Referee: Claire Hodnett (England)
Assistant Referees: Ken Henley-Willis, Susan Carty (both Ireland)

Pre-Match Quotes – Fiona Coghlan (Ireland Women): “Everything has been so positive in Ireland since the Grand Slam. The media focus has been huge, and minis and girls clubs are all growing and that has been the focus – bringing them through and building pathways for them to develop.

“This year’s Six Nations is going to be tough and obviously we want to win it again but that’s easier said than done.

“The two away games are going to be a challenge for us and we’ve never won at either of those two (France and England) before and we hope that the team from last year will follow through and we can achieve that.

“We haven’t really looked beyond Scotland at the moment – that’s the main focus.

“The last couple of years we’ve lacked consistency in our performances. We need to raise our game and play across the 80 minutes, so that’s what I’m looking for.

“But we also need to look to build depth going forward to the World Cup later this year, so we will need to give as many people as possible game-time.”

Jules Maxton (Scotland Women): “The uncapped players named are those we see as having great potential for the future, with one of the aims for this season being to provide opportunities for new players moving forward over the next few seasons.

“For us it’s about the balance of having experience, and developing and rebuilding our team.

“We’ve got the return of Ruth Slaven, Lisa Martin and Gillian Inglis, all of whom have a great deal of experience and are very important for our team.

“This is a new team and this weekend we want to set the standard for ourselves. We can’t just say we want to win, we have to look at how we achieve that.

“We’re working really hard on what our performance outcomes are for the game and if we can improve on them on a week to week basis, the wins will come.”

Pre-Match Links –

IRFU Announce Aon As Sponsors Of Ireland Women’s Team

Coghlan Hungry For More After ‘Brilliant Year’

Tickets And Timings Confirmed For Historic Women’s Fixture

Irish Rugby TV: Highlights From Ireland’s 2013 Win Over Scotland

Match Facts –

– Ireland Women achieved their first ever Six Nations Grand Slam last season and have won nine of their last ten international matches

– Ireland have not been beaten at Ashbourne since England were the visitors in 2011

– Scotland Women are on a poor run which has seen them suffer three successive whitewashes with their most recent victory in the Six Nations coming in the opening round of the 2010 campaign at home to France

– Fortunes have switched in contests between Ireland and Scotland at Women’s level, the first 14 encounters between 1993-2006 were all won by Scotland but the eight most recent fixtures have all been won by Ireland

Recent Meetings –

2011: Women’s Six Nations: Scotland Women 5 Ireland Women 22, Lasswade RFC, Edinburgh

2012: Women’s Six Nations: Ireland Women 20 Scotland Women 0, Ashbourne RFC

2013: Women’s Six Nations: Scotland Women 3 Ireland Women 30, Lasswade RFC, Edinburgh