Saturday 17 March 2018

Ireland women’s team unchanged with Grand Slam dreams still alive

IRELAND'S Triple Crown winning women’s rugby team have named an unchanged XV for the visit of France on Friday (kick-off 7.30, Ashbourne) as they look to edge closer to a first ever Grand Slam title.

Phillip Doyle’s side have defied all the odds to secure the Triple Crown and now his team, captained again by Fiona Coughlan, are just two wins away from ultimate glory.


Ireland have already surpassed their pre-tournament goal of qualification for the 2014 World Cup but Doyle has admitted that they have now reassessed what they want from the season.


"It is great to have our goals already ready reached for this season with Rugby World Cup qualifications and the Triple Crown secured,” he said.


“That being said, this squad has further goals and a win over France will certainly get us a step closer to those.


"Having seeing France’s very strong performance a fortnight ago we know that this fixture will be a very tight one but will certainly be very entertaining for the crowd.


"We are looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd in Ashbourne they always give us great support and can really make a difference for the team on the pitch."

Ireland team to face France:

Backs: 15: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)

14: Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)

13: Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exiles)

12: Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

11: Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)

10: Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

9: Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exiles)


Forwards: 1: Fiona Coghlan(C) (UL Bohemians/Leinster)

2: Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)

3: Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

4: Sophie Spence (Mowden Park Sharks/Exiles)

5: Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

6: Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)

7: Claire Molloy (Bristol/Exiles)

8: Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)

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