Wednesday 18 January 2017

Ireland back to full strength

Published 12/08/2014 | 13:50

Ireland have reverted to the same team that dumped New Zealand out of the World Cup for Wednesday's semi-final against England in Paris.

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Coach Philip Doyle has recalled the XV that produced the greatest upset in the women's game when the Black Ferns, reigning champions for the past four tournaments, were defeated 17-14.

Ten changes were subsequently made for the 40-5 thrashing of Kazakhstan on Saturday in preparation for the all-Six Nations showdown with England.

Number eight Heather O'Brien has recovered from a finger injury and resumes in the back row and full-back Niamh Briggs, Ireland's top scorer in France with 25 points, is back in the number 15 jersey.

"We have had a fantastic campaign so far and that has come from our hard work and dedication. We don't intend for it to end here," Doyle said.

* Ireland team to face England in World Cup semi-final at Stade Jean Bouin, Paris, on Wednesday August 13, 1700 KO BST:

N Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); A Baxter (BelfastHarlequins/Ulster),

L Cantwell (Richmond/Exile), G Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), A Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht); N Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), T Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster); F Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster, capt), G Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), A Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), S Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), M Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), P Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College/Leinster), C Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), H O'Brien (Highfield/Munster).

Replacements: S Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), F Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), S Fleming (Tralee/Munster), L Guest (Highfield/Munster), L Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), J Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), H Casey (Saracens/Exile).

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