The England v Ireland Women’s match follows on from the Men’s at Twickenham on Saturday evening. Kick off 7:15 pm live on England Rugby YouTube.
The teams were announced yesterday afternoon and Ireland Coach Tom Tierney has made two changes to the team that started against France.
Ulster’s only current representative, Nikki Caughey, drops to the bench in favour of Nora Stapleton and Heather O’Brien is replaced in the back row by Ciara Griffin at openside with Paula Fitzpatrick moving to No. 8. Fiona Hayes makes a welcome return to the squad from the bench.
There’s not a lot to choose between any of these replacements but Stapleton does give a better kicking option than Caughey and it suggests that Ireland are going to play even more to their forwards with Stapleton dropping the odd ball behind the defence for the pack to chase. My one concern is that the wide open spaces of Twickers may not be the place to do this!
My thoughts after watching the French game were that Ireland were well set to take on England at Twickenham and I see no reason to change my mind. If Ireland are in contention come the final quarter then the introduction of the likes of Caughey and O’Brien are just the sort of players you would want to come off the bench with Caughey, in particular, the sort of player that will prosper against a tiring defence.
The FRU Predicts. Despite some reservations that Ireland will be kicking more I’m still going for the Ireland pack to come out on top and that Ireland Women pull off their first ever win on English soil!
|Katie Mason||15||Niamh Briggs|
|Lynda Thompson||14||Elise O’Byrne-White|
|Lauren Cattell||13||Aine Donnelly|
|Ceri Large||12||Sene Naoupu|
|Lotte Clapp||11||Mairead Coyne|
|Amber Reed||10||Nora Stapleton|
|La Toya Mason||9||Larissa Muldoon|
|Rochelle Clark||1||Ruth O’Reilly|
|Emma Crocker||2||Cliodhna Moloney|
|Vickii Cornborough||3||Ailis Egan|
|Abbie Scott||4||Sophie Spence|
|Emily Braund||5||Marie-Louise Reilly|
|Harriett Millar-Mills||6||Ciara Griffin|
|Izzy Noel-Smith||7||Claire Molloy|
|Sarah Hunter||8||Paula Fitzpatrick|
|Amy Cokayne||16||Zoe Grattage|
|Heather Kerr||17||Fiona Hayes|
|Bee Dawson||18||Fiona Reidy|
|Tamara Taylor||19||Ciara Cooney|
|Poppy Leitch||20||Heather O’Brien|
|Bianca Blackburn||21||Mary Healy|
|Ruth Laybourne||22||Nikki Caughey|
|Leanne Reiley||23||Jackie Shiels|