The Autumn Internationals continue for Ireland Women this weekend at 5.40pm on Saturday the 24th November as they head to Twickenham for a clash against the England Women’s side.
England will be expecting another win, to top off their series, and Ireland will be focusing on building from their encounter against the USA. It will be an interesting game which is sure to be physical but hopefully there will be some attacking flare.
The home side have been largely rebuilding over the last few seasons. With players on professional playing contracts and with regular game time in the Women’s Premiership the English players are improving with every International test. We expect them to be clinical in every aspect of the game, something they have shown in their previous autumn outings.
England have won both their autumn internationals so far, beating USA 57-5 and Canada 27-19. They continue to use the time to develop their inexperienced players, with their centres Carys Williams and Tatyana Heard only having three caps between them. However, this won’t have an impact on their confidence coming into the game, especially with Sarah Hunter leading the Red Roses and Marlie Packer and Katie Daley-McLean coming on from the bench.
Ireland are coming into the game with a few forced changes. Captain Ciara Griffin has been ruled out from injury and has been replaced by Juliet Short, who is coming in from a successful Interprovincial series.
Youngster Emma Hooban, Leah Lyons and Jeamie Deacon have made their way into the starting 15 after impressing during their game time against the USA. Nichola Fryday also starts at lock, as a result of Ciara Cooney suffering a dislocated shoulder against the USA.
The backline sees only one change, Nicole Cronin replacing Ailsa Hughes at scrum-half, and this will hopefully see Ireland gain some more structure off attack and more leadership in defence. Interestingly, last week’s back line cover, Claire McLaughlin switches to back row cover this weekend having performed across the back row for Ulster in the Interprovincials.
Ireland will be disappointed by their loss last week against the USA. There were a few positive spells but they need to make sure that their ball retention and distribution is much better in this game. They will miss Griffin, who stemmed the tide with a few penalties at the break down, but it will be up to Ireland’s new caps to step up.
The last time these two teams met in the Women’s Six Nations, England won by 33 points to 11. With the performances in the internationals so far, we predict that England will win, but hope to see an improved performance from Ireland, who will be led by Sene Naoupu.
|ENGLAND WOMEN||IRELAND WOMEN|
|Sarah McKenna||15||Lauren Delany|
|Lydia Thompson||14||Eimear Considine|
|Carys Williams||13||Sene Naoupu|
|Tatyana Heard||12||Michelle Claffey|
|Kelly Smith||11||Laura Sheehan|
|Zoe Harrison||10||Nikki Caughey|
|Leanne Riley||9||Nicole Cronin|
|Vickii Cornborough||1||Lindsay Peat|
|Heather Kerr||2||Emma Hooban|
|Hannah Botterman||3||Leah Lyons|
|Zoe Aldcroft||4||Aoife McDermott|
|Abbie Scott||5||Nichola Fryday|
|Poppy Cleall||6||Jeamie Deacon|
|Vicky Fleetwood||7||Claire Molloy|
|Sarah Hunter||8||Juliet Short|
|Lark Davies||16||Sarah Mimnah|
|Ellena Perry||17||Laura Feely|
|Shaunagh Brown||18||Fiona Reidy|
|Catherine O’Donnell||19||Claire McLaughlin|
|Marlie Packer||20||Edel McMahon|
|Claudia Macdonald||21||Ailsa Hughes|
|Katy Daley-Mclean||22||Ellen Murphy|
|Rachael Burford||23||Beibhinn Parsons|