Ireland Women’s Coach Tom Tierney has made sweeping changes for tomorrow afternoon’s RBS Six Nations match against Italy. The match kicks off at 13:00 at Donnybrook and will be shown live on Irish Rugby’s YouTube stream.
All in all I make it eleven changes from the squad that featured against England and it’s pleasing to see a few more players get the chance to wear the green.
Ulster player Nikki Caughey makes her fourth appearance of the series, starting at out half, and she is joined in the squad by Queen’s Claire McLaughlin who will hopefully get her fist cap for Ireland from the bench. Ulster exile Larissa Muldoon drops to a strong looking bench for this one where she is joined by Connacht’s Claire Molly and Leinster’s Paula Fitzpatrick in this surprise shake up.
Seven’s players Kim Flood, Liz Burke and Alison Miller form a new look back three with captain Niamh Briggs switching to the centre to partner Sene Naoupu, one of the few players to maintain her place. Mary Healy starts at scrum half, alongside Caughey, after impressive appearances from the bench and up front Elaine Anthony comes into the squad for the first time this season to partner Marie Louise Reilly in second row with Sophie Spence switching to No. 8.
It’s an interesting shake up but it might just be too many changes, particularly up front, against an improving Italian side who come into this game with some confidence on the back of a narrow loss to England and a win against Scotland.
|Kim Flood||15||Manuela Furlan|
|Liz Burke||14||Maria Magatti|
|Niamh Briggs||13||Maria Grazia Cioffi|
|Sene Naoupu||12||Michela Sillari|
|Alison Miller||11||Sofia Stefan|
|Nikki Caughey||10||Beatrice Rigoni|
|Mary Healy||9||Sara Barattin|
|Lindsay Peat||1||Elisa Cucchiella|
|Cliodhna Moloney||2||Lucia Cammarano|
|Ailis Egan||3||Melissa Bettoni|
|Elaine Anthony||4||Elisa Pillotti|
|Marie Louise Reilly||5||Alice Trevisan|
|Ciara Cooney||6||Michela Este|
|Ciara Griffin||7||Isabella Locatelli|
|Sophie Spence||8||Elisa Giordano|
|Zoe Grattage||16||Lucia Gai|
|Ruth O’Reilly||17||Gaia Giacomoli|
|Fiona Reidy||18||Diletta Nicoletti|
|Claire Molloy||19||Valentina Ruzza|
|Paula Fitzpatrick||20||Ilaria Arrighetti|
|Larissa Muldoon||21||Silvia Folli|
|Nora Stapleton||22||Paola Zangirolami|
|Claire McLaughlin||23||Veronica Madia|