Wednesday 13 December 2017

Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrell and Sene Naoupu controversially omitted from Ireland squad for crucial France clash

Sene Naoupu, Hannah Tyrell and Alison Miller
Sene Naoupu, Hannah Tyrell and Alison Miller Newsdesk Newsdesk

Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrell and centre Sene Naoupu were high profile omissions from Tom Tierney's matchday 15 for Sunday's Six Nations clash with France in Donnybrook.

Ireland are still in the running for the Championship and Grand Slam after wins over Scotland and Italy in the opening two rounds of the competition.

Miller, Tyrell and Naoupu have been picked instead for the next leg of the Sevens World Series in Las Vegas on March 3-5.

The loss of the trio is a controversial decision taken by the IRFU's Women's and Sevens director Anthony Eddy, with Ireland also building towards their hosting of the women's world cup later this year.

There's several changes to the side that claimed a bonus-point win over Italy in L'Aquila.

Sophie Spence moves from the replacements to partner Marie-Louise Reilly in the second row and there is a new-look backline, with Mary Healy wearing the number 9 jersey and partnering the experienced Nora Stapleton at out-half.

In the centres, Claire McLaughlin comes into the side, having been a replacement in Italy and Scotland and she will line up beside Jenny Murphy.

The back three sees Mairead Coyne at full-back and she will have Eimear Considine and Kim Flood, who was part of the Ireland 7s side in Dubai and Sydney coming into the team, having won the last of her two 15s caps last season against Scotland.

The front-row remains unchanged, with hooker Leah Lyons, partnered by props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan.

Flankers Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy will again join Captain Paula Fitzpatrick in the back-row.

The substitute's bench sees Ruth O'Reilly make her return to the international set-up, having recovered from a knee injury, she makes up the front-row replacements alongside Ciara O'Connor and Ilse Van Staden.

Ciara Cooney and Nichola Fryday will provide second-row and back-row cover.

The replacement backs are Larissa Muldoon, Nikki Caughey and the uncapped Louise Galvin.

Ireland team to play France:

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union / Leinster)

2. Leah Lyons (Highfield / Munster)

3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

5. Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians / Munster)

7. Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht)

8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College / Leinster) Captain

9. Mary Healy (Galwegians / Connacht)

10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

11. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians / Munster)

12. Claire Mc Laughlin (Cooke / Ulster)

13. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

14. Kim Flood (Railway Union / Leinster)

15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)



16. Ciara O Connor (Galwegians / Connacht)

17. Ilse Van Staden (Cooke / Ulster)

18. Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians / Connacht)

19. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union / Leinster)

20. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore / Connacht)

21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)

22. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union / Ulster)

23. Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians / Munster)*

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