Tuesday 23 January 2018

Tierney takes new blood to the Stoop

Ireland women’s coach Tom Tierney will use Saturday’s clash with England to blood some new faces
Ireland women’s coach Tom Tierney will use Saturday’s clash with England to blood some new faces
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ireland women's coach Tom Tierney will use Saturday's historic clash with England to blood some new faces as he steps up preparation for the Six Nations.

The Twickenham Stoop fixture is the first time the Six Nations champions will play a November international and provides a big opportunity for the six new caps in the starting XV named by the former scrum-half.

The backline sees three new faces with both wingers making their first appearance at this level, with Blackrock's Jeanie Deacon on the right and Galwegians' Mairead Coyne on the left.

In the centre, Cill Dara's Aine Donnelly partners Jackie Shiels with Niamh Briggs captaining the side from full-back and Sene Naoupu lining up at out-half alongside Larissa Muldoon.

Up front, Railway Union's Cliodhna Moloney comes in at hooker alongside Ruth O'Reilly and Ailis Egan, with both second-rows making their debut as Highfield's Elaine Anthony partners Clara Cooney of Galwegians.

World Player of the Year nominee Sophie Spence moves to the back-row where she joins Toulouse pair Paula Fitzpatrick and Heather O'Brien.

There could be more debutantes off the bench with Tralee's Zoe Grattage covering hooker, Railway Union's Lindsay Peat lending back-row support and Queens' Claire McLaughlin covering the outside backs.

Ireland Women (v England, Saturday 3.0) - N Briggs (UL Bohemian, capt); J Deacon (Blackrock), A Donnelly (Cill Dara), J Shiels (Richmond), M Coyne (Galwegians); S Naoupu (Galwegians), L Muldoon (Skewen); R O'Reilly (Galwegians), C Moloney (Railway Union), A Egan (Old Belvedere); E Anthony (Highfield), C Cooney (Galwegians); S Spence (Old Belvedere), P Fitzpatrick (Toulouse), H O'Brien (Toulouse). Reps: Z Grattage (Tralee), F Reidy (UL Bohemian), F O'Brien (Old Belvedere), K Norris (Blackrock), L Peat (Railway Union), M Healy (Galwegians), N Stapleton (Old Belvedere), C McLaughlin (Queens)

Irish Independent

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