Tuesday 21 October 2014

Doyle's troops must hit ground running in USA crunch

Published 01/08/2014 | 02:30

Ireland Head Coach Philip Doyle has called on 14 of his 2013 Grand Slam winners to face the US. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Ireland Head Coach Philip Doyle has called on 14 of his 2013 Grand Slam winners to face the US. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

THE unforgiving nature of the Women's Rugby World Cup format means there is little room for error for Ireland as they begin their campaign just south of Paris this afternoon.

Philip Doyle has called on 14 of his 2013 Grand Slam winners in a strong starting line-up to face the United States in this pivotal Pool B opener.

Run along similar lines to the men's Junior World Cup, with three pools of four teams, both of these sides know the stakes are high in a group that also features world champions New Zealand.

The three pool winners will go into the semi-finals along with the best runner-up and that could prove the best route given the Black Ferns' unblemished record in previous tournaments.

NUMBERS

With Kazakhstan making up the numbers, Ireland and the USA will be viewing today's game as a springboard to further success.

Led by the experienced Fiona Coghlan, Ireland's pack has a formidable look to it while behind the scrum they will look to Nora Stapleton and Lynne Cantwell to create openings for flying winger Alison Miller and the excellent Niamh Briggs at full-back.

Doyle has kept the explosive Jenny Murphy in reserve and she will be expected to make an impact against an American side who got the upper hand in the corresponding fixture four years ago in England.

Ireland will be hoping their huge strides since 2010 will stand them in good stead and can get them over the line in a game that can give them the momentum they need ahead of their meeting with New Zealand.

Verdict: Ireland

Irish Independent

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