Friday 31 July 2015

Ireland name strong 15 to play England in World Cup semi-final

Published 12/08/2014 | 11:51

Ashleigh Baxter, Ailis Egan and Vicky McGinn celebrate their historic win over New Zealand
Ashleigh Baxter, Ailis Egan and Vicky McGinn celebrate their historic win over New Zealand

Ireland have named the same side that beat New Zealand for the women's World Cup semi-final clash against England on Wednesday.

Manager Philip Doyle made 10 changes for the final group game - a 40-5 win over Kazakhstan - but he will revert to the same 15 from the historic New Zealand win against a classy England outfit.

Niamh Briggs - Ireland's top scorer in France with 25 points - makes up the back-three along with wingers Ashleigh Baxter and Alison Miller.

Grace Davitt and Lynne Cantwell continue in the centre for their fourth start together of the tournament, with Nora Stapleton and Tania Rosser named as the half-backs.

 Captain Fiona Coghlan is joined by hooker Gillian Bourke and Ailis Egan in a settled front row combination, while Sophie Spence and Marie Louise Reilly also reunite in the second row.

Paula Fitzpatrick, who turns 29 today, Claire Molloy and number 8 Heather O'Brien - recovered from her finger injury - feature in a combative back row.

Speaking ahead of the semi-final, Doyle said: "We have had a fantastic campaign so far and that has only come from hard work and dedication. We don't intend for it to end here."

 Wednesday's much-anticipated meeting of the Six Nations rivals, which kicks off at 5pm Irish time, will be televised live on TG4 and Sky Sports 4 (17.00 Irish time)

15. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster), 14. Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), 13. Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile), 12. Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), 11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht), 10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 9. Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster), 1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), 2. Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), 3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 6. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College/Leinster), 7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), 8. Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster)

Replacements:

16. Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 17. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)

18. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), 19. Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), 20. Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), 21. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 22. Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile)

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