Thursday 15 November 2018

Griffin and Lyons eye Grand Slam glory

Ciara Griffin forces her way through the Welsh defence. Photo: INPHO
Ciara Griffin forces her way through the Welsh defence. Photo: INPHO Sportsdesk

A St Patrick's Day feast of rugby this afternoon as the Irish women look to emulate the class of 2009 and beat England in Donnybrook to win the grand slam on home turf.

The side for the Championship decider shows one change to the team that defeated Wales 12-7 last weekend, as scrum-half Larissa Muldoon moves from the replacements into the starting XV.

Once again Munster women Leah Lyons and Ciara Griffin keep their places in the pack - both have been instrumental to Ireland's unbeaten Six Nations season.

Head coach Tom Tierney said: "There's a very strong spirit in this squad that's been developing nicely over the last few months and, we've ground out four wins in a row to set up a very big game."

Tonight's match is part of a double-header in Donnybrook, as the Ireland U-20s face their English counterparts in the earlier game at 6.0.

Ireland Women v England, today, 8.0, Donnybrook Stadium - Kim Flood (Railway Union / Leinster); Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere / Leinster), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere / Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere / Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere / Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union / Leinster), Leah Lyons (Highfield / Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere / Leinster); Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere / Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere / Leinster); Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians / Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht), Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's College / Leinster, capt). Reps: Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians / Connacht), Ilse Van Staden (Cooke / Ulster), Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians / Connacht), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union / Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Tullamore / Connacht), Mary Healy (Galwegians / Connacht), Nikki Caughey (Railway Union / Ulster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht).

Irish club XV gear up for England

On a day packed with rugby, it's not just Limerick that's attracting the attention with their schools final, but Cork will see another Irish clubs international at Temple Hill.

As the Irish women will have hopefully already secured their Grand Slam against their English counterparts earlier on in the afternoon, the Irish Club XV will also be looking to get one over their English county counterparts at the Ballinlough venue, hosting its fourth clubs international.

Last year, the Irish clubs lost out on the Dalriada Cup 19-13.

That evening saw local boys Max Abbott and Ger Sweeney start, joined by Garryowen's James McInerney and Neil Cronin, while John Fitzgerald (Dolphin) came off the bench.

This time, another host of Munster-based players are involved.

In total, players from nine Ulster Bank League clubs have been named in the Ireland squad by head coach Morgan Lennon, with Abbott and Sweeney again named, joined by team-mate Rob Jermyn.

Ulster Bank Club International Squad (v England Counties, Temple Hill, Cork, today, 7.30) - Max Abbott (Cork Constitution), Vach Abeladze (Clontarf), Sean Coughlin (Old Belvedere), Mike Courtney (Dublin University), Neil Cronin (Garryowen); Matt D'Arcy (Clontarf), Scott Deasy (Lansdowne), Willie Earls (Lansdowne), Paddy Finlay (Dublin University), Stephen Gardiner (Lansdowne), Rob Guerin (Young Munster), Rob Jermyn (Cork Constitution), Alan Kennedy (Young Munster), Kyle McCoy (Terenure College), Eamonn Mills (Lansdowne), Karl Moran (Clontarf), Andrew O'Byrne (Garryowen), Peter Osbourne (Naas), Eric O'Sullivan (Dublin University), Ian Prenderville (Lansdowne), Paul Pritchard (Old Belvedere), Ben Reilly (Clontarf), Tony Ryan (Clontarf), Ger Sweeney (Cork Constitution*).

Tickets: adults €10; juveniles and students €5; family €20.

Irish Independent

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