Women to lose star trio to Sevens
Ireland's women may be two wins into their Six Nations campaign and closing in on their home World Cup, but Tom Tierney is set to lose three front-line stars to the Sevens programme for this Sunday's all-important clash with France.
Former coach Philip Doyle last night questioned the call to pick Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller and Hannah Tierney for the next leg of the Sevens World Series in Las Vegas on March 3-5.
The trio are all front-line stars in Tierney's backline - which is already operating without injured captain Niamh Briggs - but are also contracted with the IRFU to play Sevens but the decision, taken by the IRFU's Women's and Sevens director Anthony Eddy, is set to be a controversial one.
The union are heavily marketing August's World Cup which they hope will help pave the way for the right to host the men's tournament in 2023, but the prospect of a poor performance by the hosts is growing.
In an attempt to widen his selection net, Tierney has handed out plenty of caps but has struggled to settle on his starting side.
Games against France, Wales and England would have been seen as the perfect opportunity to build cohesion before the tournament but that has been scuppered.
Eddy will explain his decision in a rare appearance before the media tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the union has confirmed that Ireland's men will play the USA at New Jersey on June 10 before embarking on their two-Test summer tour of Japan.