Friday 30 September 2016

Irish Women get chance to impress in warm-up

Published 22/01/2016 | 02:30

Ireland Women’s coach Tom Tierney Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland Women’s coach Tom Tierney Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland Women's coach Tom Tierney will hand his players a final chance to impress before the Six Nations begins, when his side take on Wales on Sunday.

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The uncapped game, which takes place in Caerphilly, will have rolling subs to allow Tierney have a final look at players and combinations before he names his Six Nations squad.

There is plenty of experience in the squad with the likes of Niamh Briggs, Heather O'Brien and Ailis Egan, while players like Elise O'Byrne-White and Ciara Griffin will be hoping to stake their claim.

"We've had some good camps over the past few months, and with the England game in November and now this warm-up fixture against Wales, we're getting the opportunity to try out some different combinations and build our squad ahead of the Six Nations," Tierney said.

"We've got a nice mix of youth and experience within the team so it will be good to get a final run-out before we start the tournament in Donnybrook."

Ireland will kick off their defence of their Six Nations title against Wales in Donnybrook on Saturday, February 6.

Elsewhere, Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal wants the European champions to turn their backs on the French league and join England's Aviva Premiership.

Boudjellal has asked Premiership Rugby whether Toulon, currently fourth in France's Top 14, could join the English rugby elite. The league said it would discuss the unprecedented request with its member clubs although it is likely to be given short shrift.

In a letter sent to the Aviva Premiership, Boudjellal said the European champions would provide "huge added value" to the English competition, according to French sports daily L'Equipe.

"I wrote asking for a contact. If it's not possible the next season, perhaps it's going to be the one after that," Boudjellal said. "For them it would be a huge added value. And it's a serious approach."

Ireland Women's Squad (v Wales XV on Sunday)

Forwards: Elaine Anthony, Ciara Cooney, Ailis Egan, Grainne Egan, Paula Fitzpatrick, Zoe Grattage, Ciara Griffin, Claire Molloy, Heather O'Brien, Fiona O'Brien, Ruth O'Reilly, Lindsay Peat, Fiona Reidy, Marie-Louise Reilly, Sophie Spence.

Backs: Niamh Briggs, Liz Burke, Nikki Caughey, Mairead Coyne, Aine Donnelly, Mary Healy, Claire McLaughlin, Larissa Muldoon, Sene Naoupu, Elise O'Byrne-White, Jackie Shiels.

Irish Independent

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