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With the Canadian team announced earlier today I can now bring you the team lists for the Ireland v Canada Autumn International match which takes place at the UCD Bowl on Saturday afternoon. Kick off 2:00pm.

Ireland named their team yesterday and it’s obvious that coach Tom Tierney is using this series to have a look at all his charges with the squad containing ten changes, including two new caps, from the squad that featured in the narrow loss against England at the same venue last Sunday.

From the Ulster perspective, I’m pleased to see that Nikki Caughey starts at out half and Cooke’s Claire McLaughlin features on the bench, thereby doubling Ulster’s representation from the last match. Watching Ireland from behind the touchline last week they did tend to crab across the pitch and deny themselves space so I’ll be looking for Caughey, and McLaughlin should she get on, to straighten things up in the middle of the park.

The rest of the back line is the same as last week with the exception of Mary Healy, who starts at scrum half alongside Caughey. Healy replaces “FRU favourite” Larissa Muldoon, who drops to the bench, and while both players bring their own strengths to the game Healy is marginally faster at getting the ball away, which should help, provided Ireland get the ball up front.

I really don’t know what way the forward battle will go. There are seven changes up front with captain Paula Fitzpatrick the only forward maintaining her place. New caps Nicola Fryday from Tullamore and UL Bohemians Anna Caplice start in second row and the back row respectively and Zoe Grattage comes straight in a hooker for the injured Cliodhna Moloney, the rest of the front row swapping round from last week. Leah Lyons remains on the bench as replacement hooker.

Chloe Pearse moves from the replacements into second row and Ciara Cooney leapfrogs straight into the starting line up as replacement for the injured Claire Molloy.

It’ll be somewhat strange seeing an Ireland Women’s team without Nora Stapleton, Molloy and Marie Louise Reilly as well as Niamh Briggs and Sophie Spence, who have yet to make a showing this series, but it will test the depth of the squad in full which has to happen.

So we’ve got a fairly inexperienced Ireland side against the number three team in the world, a team whose last three games, in June, were comfortable wins against England, USA and France. Ireland will be up against it again this weekend, but it’s where they need to be.

The FRU Predicts: Looking forward to seeing both these teams and I hope it’s a more attractive game than last week’s. However I expect Canada to win with something to spare. Anything better than a ten point loss will be a success for this experimental Ireland. 

IRELAND CANADA
Mairead Coyne15Julianne Zussman
Niamh Kavanagh14Elissa Alarie
Nicole Fowley13Alex Tessier
Sene Naoupu12Andrea Burk
Alison Miller11Magali Harvey
Nikki Caughey10Emily Belchos
Mary Healy9Chelsea Guthrie
Fiona Hayes1Carolyn McEwen
Zoe Grattage2Laura Russell
Fiona Reidy3DaLeaka Menin
Katie Norris4Latoya Blackwood
Nichola Fryday5Kayla Mack
Ciara Cooney6Jacey Grusnick
Anna Caplice7Karen Paquin
Paula Fitzpatrick8Kelly Russell
 
Leah Lyons16Gillian Boag
Lindsay Peat17Olivia DeMerchant
Ailis Egan18Demi Stamatakis
Elaine Anthony19Tyson Beukeboom
Chloe Pearse20Barbara Mervin
Larissa Muldoon21Brianna Miller
Jackie Shiels22Mackenzie Higgs
Claire McLaughlin23Brittany Waters
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