Vikki McGinn and Sharon Lynch are the two new caps in a much-changed Ireland team which is hoping continue their winning run at the Women’s Rugby World Cup against Kazakhstan.
2014 IRB WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP – POOL B: Saturday, August 9
IRELAND WOMEN (1st) v KAZAKHSTAN WOMEN (4th), Marcoussis pitch 3, FFR HQ, 1pm local time/12pm Irish time (live TG4/Sky Sports 3 HD/IRB website)
Team News: The Ireland Women’s team to play Kazakhstan in their third and final pool game of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup has been named.
Head coach Philip Doyle has made 10 personnel changes and two positional switches to the team that overcame reigning world champions New Zealand 17-14 in their last outing.
A new look back-line sees full-back Jackie Shiels and wingers Vikki McGinn (pictured below) and Hannah Casey make their first starts of the tournament.
Grace Davitt and Lynne Cantwell continue their centre partnership with Cantwell, Ireland’s most-capped player, captaining the side in Fiona Coghlan’s absence.
The versatile Tania Rosser, fresh from winning her 50th Ireland cap, moves to out-half with Larissa Muldoon coming in at scrum half.
Hooker Gillian Bourke – one of only two survivors in the pack – is joined by Fiona Hayes and Kerrie-Ann Craddock (pictured below) in the front row.
Orla Fitzsimons, who also makes her first appearance of the tournament, will link up with Laura Guest in the second row.
Paula Fitzpatrick shifts from blindside flanker to number 8, while Sharon Lynch and the returning Siobhan Fleming complete the back row.
Coghlan, Ailis Egan, Sophie Spence, Claire Molloy, Nora Stapleton, Alison Miller and Ashleigh Baxter are all named among the replacements.
Speaking ahead of the third round tie, Doyle said: “Tuesday’s win against New Zealand was fantastic and really showed what this team can do. However, it was one game and we still have a lot of rugby to play.
“This World Cup is – and always has been – about our 26-player squad, and we are in a great position that we can use fresh players to maintain our standards and performances to date.
“Kazakhstan are a hugely physical side and we are not underestimating them. They will not be overcome easily.”
Saturday’s Pool B game, which kicks off at 12pm Irish time, will be televised live on TG4 and Sky Sports 3 HD.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan lie bottom of the pool after conceding 126 points and 21 tries in heavy defeats to New Zealand and the USA.
Both of their tries to date were scored by backs – Oxana Shadrina came off the bench to touch down in the 79-5 loss to the Black Ferns, while captain Anna Yakovleva, who moved from outside centre to out-half for the USA game, gave them a 12th minute lead last time out with a converted try.
Svetlana Karatygina, a 40-year-old lock, is one of the survivors from the sides’ last meeting at the 2010 Women’s World Cup in England where Ireland claimed a 37-3 victory.
The girls in green had to be patient as they built a 22-3 half-time lead thanks to tries from Niamh Briggs, Joy Neville, Louise Beamish and Orla Brennan. With the bonus point wrapped up, Eliza Downey, Kate O’Loughlin and number 8 Neville touched down in the second half.
The current Kazakhstan squad are coached by New Zealander Adam McDonald and retained their Asian Women’s Championship crown in May, beating Japan 49-17 in the deciding clash in Hong Kong.
IRELAND WOMEN: Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile); Vikki McGinn (Blackrock/Leinster), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile) (capt), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile); Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile); Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Kerrie-Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster).
Replacements: Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht), Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster).
KAZAKHSTAN WOMEN: Aigerym Daurembayeva (Almaty SRC); Oxana Shadrina (Olymp SRC), Anna Yakovleva (Almaty SRC) (capt), Balzhan Koishybayeva (Almaty SRC), Lyudmila Sapronova (Olymp SRC); Svetlana Klyuchnikova (Almaty SRC), Amina Baratova (Almaty SRC); Yelena Muradova (Almaty SRC), Yelena Yevdokimova (Almaty SRC), Olga Bakhtiguzina (Almaty SRC), Lyudmila Matiyeva (Almaty SRC), Svetlana Karatygina (Almaty SRC), Symbat Zhamankulova (Olymp SRC), Kundyzay Baktybayeva (Almaty SRC), Marianna Balashova (Almaty SRC).
Replacements: Irina Radzevil (Olymp SRC), Yelena Rogacheva (Taraz), Yelena Kiryushina (Almaty SRC), Karina Proskurina (Olymp SRC), Anatassiya Khamova (Almaty SRC), Aigul Dairbayeva (Olymp SRC), Olga Sazonova (Almaty SRC).
Referee: Nicky Inwood (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Sara Cox (England), Maria Beatrice Benvenuti (Italy)
Pre-Match Quotes – Philip Doyle (Ireland Women): “There is constant physicality throughout Kazakhstan’s game and it is going to be a tough one. Our mindset has to be set piece and patience. The focus is on Kazakhstan. We are guaranteed nothing at the moment.
“We’ve decided to freshen up the starting team. We’re in a great position in that we have got some very fresh people that we didn’t use in the first two games. It’s all about the 26-player squad.
“These girls have a great chance to come in and keep the standards set in the first two games. We still have to play some experienced ladies. It is a nice balanced team with youth and experience throughout. I’m very happy with our selection.”
Niamh Briggs (Ireland Women): “When we got back to the dressing rooms (after Tuesday’s win) we were on cloud nine. Then our strength and conditioning coach shoved us into ice baths and recovery became the priority.
“We’d obviously created a bit of history but it will be for nothing if we don’t go on to win against Kazakhstan on Saturday afternoon in order to get through to the semi-finals. We’ve won nothing yet so we’ve just got to keep our feet on the ground and focus really hard.
“I don’t think that I’ll ever forget coming out of the tunnel for the start of the national anthems and hearing ‘The Fields of Athenry’ being sung. A whisper went down the line that it was just like a home match for us.”
Pre-Match Links –
Recent Meeting –
2010: Women’s Rugby World Cup – Pool B: Ireland Women 37 Kazakhstan Women 3, Surrey Sports Park