These team announcements are getting easier and easier to write as Ireland Women once again name an unchanged side for this Friday’s match against France at Ashbourne RFC. KO 7:30pm.
It’s testament to the strength and conditioning work carried out with the Ireland Women’s squad over the last few seasons that Philip Doyle can call on the same 23 for the third week in a row but their reserves of strength will be pushed to the limit against a robust and improving French side who currently sit in second place, two points behind Ireland.
The French have improved dramatically this season after opening their Six Nations campaign with an erratic display in their 13 – 12 defeat to Italy. They got their campaign back on track with a comprehensive 32 – 0 win over Wales which they followed up with an impressive 20 – 30 win against England at Twickenham making this a match between the two form teams in this seasons championship.
Both sides have played some highly entertaining rugby this season but Ireland have a slight edge and with their confidence growing from game to game they should be able to capitalise on the encouragement from, what should be, a record home crowd.
As before, there will be plenty of Ulster girls on show with Ashleigh Baxter and Larissa Muldoon starting and Grace Davitt, Stacey Lea Kennedy, Lauren Day and Amy Davis should all make an appearance from the bench as Ireland Head Coach, Philip Doyle, continues to fully utilise this impressively strong squad.
The Front Row Union will be covering the match live so so check out the site Friday evening from 7:00pm.
IRELAND: Niamh Briggs, Ashleigh Baxter, Lynne Cantwell, Jenny Murphy, Alison Miller, Nora Stapleton, Larissa Muldoon, Fiona Coghlan, Gillian Bourke, Ailis Egan, Sophie Spence, Marie Louise Reilly, Siobhan Fleming, Claire Molloy, Joy Neville. Replacements: Stacey-Lea Kennedy, Fiona Hayes, Lauren Day, Leigh Dargan, Laura Guest, Amy Davis, Grace Davitt, Niamh Kavanagh.