Following their impressive dismissal of Scotland last time out, the Ireland Women will bid for a hat-trick of away wins in this year’s Championship when they meet Wales in Gwent.
2011 WOMEN’S RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: Sunday, March 13
WALES WOMEN (4th) v IRELAND WOMEN (3rd), Cross Keys RFC, Gwent, 2.30pm
Team News: The Ireland Women’s team to play Wales in the Women’s RBS 6 Nations Championship on Sunday has been named by head coach Philip Doyle.
The selected team is again captained by prop Fiona Coghlan who has been announced as the Irish Times Sportswoman of the Month for February.
Doyle has made two changes in personnel to the side that beat Scotland 22-5 in their last Six Nations outing a fortnight ago.
Lauren Day and Carol Staunton make their return to the starting line-up in the front and back row respectively. Laura Guest, who started at blindside flanker against Scotland, will partner Marie Louise Reilly in the second row.
Ailis Egan comes into the squad as a replacement prop as Doyle seeks to increase the number of players gaining experience at this level. Heather O’Brien will also provide back-up on the bench.
The Wales v Ireland fixture is taking place at Pandy Park, the home of Cross Keys RFC. Tickets can be purchased on the day, they are priced at £3 (field) and £5 (stand). Click here for directions to the ground.
Meanwhile, Wales Women have made three changes to the team they fielded for their recent 12-8 loss to Italy.
Scrum half Amy Day comes in for Laura Prosser as the only change to the back-line, while hooker Rhian Bowden replaces Lowri Harries and experienced back rower Jamie Kift returns in place of Vicky Owens.
Prosser, Harries and Owens all drop to the bench, while Awen Thomas is introduced to the replacements with Yasmin Leung dropping out altogether.
There is a welcome return for lock Rachel Taylor who has not played for Wales since last year’s World Cup in England.
WALES WOMEN: Aimee Young (Bath Ladies); Mared Evans (UWIC), Adi Taviner (Neath Athletic), Elen Evans (Dolgellau), Kerin Lake (Neath Athletic); Elinor Snowsill (Cardiff Quins), Amy Day (Cross Keys); Jenny Davies (Waterloo), Rhian Bowden (Cross Keys), Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins), Shona Powell Hughes (Neath Athletic), Ashley Rowlands (Wasps), Lisa Newton (UWIC), Sioned Harries (UWIC), Jamie Kift (Cross Keys).
Replaccements: Lowri Harries (Neath Athletic), Caryl Thomas (Bath Ladies), Vicky Owens (UWIC), Rachel Taylor (Cardiff Quins), Laura Prosser (Pontyclun), Awen Thomas (Cross Keys), Caryl James (Cardiff Quins).
IRELAND WOMEN: Niamh Briggs (Clonmel/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), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Carol Staunton (Galwegians/Connacht), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster).
Replacements: Stacey Kennedy (City of Derry/Ulster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Deirdre O’Brien (Blackrock/Leinster), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exile), Gillian Nolan (St. Mary’s/Leinster), Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Leinster).
Referee: Federica Guerzoni (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Gareth Butler (both Wales)
Pre-Match Quotes: Philip Doyle (Ireland Women) – “The squad are looking forward to this weekend’s test. Wales away is always a strong challenge and we are under no illusions about the strength of this Welsh side.
“We have had good results so far in the tournament and are striving for another positive result this weekend.”
Kris de Scossa (Wales Women) – “We have looked at the things which didn’t work well against Italy. Training has gone fantastically well. The squad is looking strong and we’re confident of doing well.
“We know we head into this match as underdogs as the Irish are a very strong and capable side. We’re hoping for another fantastic crowd at Pandy Park and we hope to give them as much entertainment as last time (against England) and a match to remember for a very long time.”
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Meetings –
2008: Women’s RBS 6 Nations: Ireland Women 10 Wales Women 19, St. Mary’s College RFC
2009: Women’s RBS 6 Nations: Wales Women 13 Ireland Women 10, Taffs Well RFC, Cardiff
2010: Women’s RBS 6 Nations: Ireland Women 18 Wales Women 3, Ashbourne RFC