The two unbeaten teams in Pool B of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup meet in Marcoussis as Ireland take on reigning world champions New Zealand for the first time ever in the fifteens game.
2014 IRB WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP – POOL B: Tuesday, August 5
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN (1st) v IRELAND WOMEN (2nd), Marcoussis pitch 1, FFR HQ, 6pm local time/5pm Irish time (live TG4/Sky Sports 1 HD/IRB website)
Team News: The Ireland Women’s team to play their New Zealand counterparts in the second round of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup has been named.
There is just one change to the team that overcame the USA 23-17 in their opening game of the tournament. Paula Fitzpatrick starts at blindside flanker with Siobhan Fleming named in the replacements.
Experienced scrum half Tania Rosser (pictured training below) will have the honour of receiving her 50th cap for Ireland as she lines out against her native country.
Speaking ahead of the mouth-watering encounter with the reigning world champions, Ireland head coach Philip Doyle said: “We have prepared for a tough test, we are focusing on how we are going to play our game and we have to play as well as we can.”
Tuesday’s Pool B game, which kicks off at 5pm Irish time, will be televised live on TG4 and Sky Sports 1 HD.
Meanwhile, New Zealand boss Brian Evans has made seven changes to the team that started the 79-5 demolition of Kazakhstan in the opening round.
Forwards Jackie Patea and Kathleen Wilton and winger Renee Wickliffe have been promoted to the starting line-up for their first appearances of the tournament.
Aleisha Nelson and Sevens players Linda Itunu and Honey Hireme will start after coming off the bench against Kazakhstan.
Aroha Savage is the only remaining player from the opening match in the reserves, with Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox, Ruth McKay, Justine Lavea, Kendra Cocksedge and Shakira Baker to take on replacement duties.
Claire Richardson could also make her 2014 World Cup debut off the bench, replacing Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali.
NEW ZEALAND WOMEN: Selica Winiata (Manawatu); Renee Wickliffe (Counties Manukau), Huriana Manuel (Auckland), Amiria Rule (Canterbury), Honey Hireme (Waikato); Kelly Brazier (Otago), Emma Jensen (Canterbury); Kathleen Wilton (Otago), Fiao’o Fa’amausili (Auckland) (capt), Aleisha Nelson (Auckland), Eloise Blackwell (Auckland), Jackie Patea (Wellington), Rawinia Everitt (Counties Manukau), Linda Itunu (Auckland), Casey Robertson (Canterbury).
Replacements: Stephanie Te Ohaere-Fox (Canterbury), Ruth McKay (Manawatu), Justine Lavea (Auckland), Aroha Savage (Counties Manukau), Kendra Cocksedge (Canterbury), Claire Richardson (Auckland), Shakira Baker (Manawatu).
IRELAND WOMEN: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster).
Replacements: Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Vikki McGinn (Blackrock/Leinster).
Referee: Leah Berard (USA)
Assistant Referees: Sara Cox, Claire Hodnett (both England)
Pre-Match Quotes – Fiona Coghlan (Ireland Women): “We adapted to the game (against the USA), we’d have liked to have played a wider game, but that did not work so we played it tighter.
“We used our maul – perhaps more often than we would normally – but it worked, and we sucked players in. It’s something we’ve worked on and we like to use.
“New Zealand are world champions four times in a row but they have been beaten. England have beaten them, Canada ran them close there in the summer internationals.
“So there are chinks in their armour and it’s (about) finding those chinks and exploiting them.”
Brian Evans (New Zealand Women): “It is an exciting challenge for the team and we are aware that Ireland are a big and powerful team. They are well organised and were in their match against the United States.
“Fortunately we have no injuries and have had a day of rest after a match played in very hot conditions. The team played well but they struggled with the heat so we have prepared accordingly.”
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