Six Nations: No change again for Ireland
Philip Doyle has for the third time chosen an unchanged starting XV and replacements to face Italy this Friday night at Ashbourne.
Having made an impact in the abandoned game against Wales, and (despite the débacle of reaching the venue) fighting fiercely in a narrow loss to the French, Doyle has opted for a strong and reliable side once again.
The starting XV includes this tournament’s try-scorers Alison Miller and Claire Molloy, unflappable kicker Niamh Briggs, winger/centre manqué Lynne Cantwell who remains at the fly-half position, and Six Nations débutantes Sophie Spence and Ashleigh Baxter.
As with the men’s visiting side, the Italy women are increasingly a force to be reckoned with.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s game, Doyle said:
Following a very good performance against France in Pau last time out, all girls played extremely well and we did not see the need to make changes.
Italy are a formidable opposition, we are under no illusions about the strength of this side. We have trained well and look forward to playing back in front of a home side
ScrumQueens warns that the one to watch among the opposition is Flavia Severin:
The Treviso lock has a great eye for a try and is a dogged defender. She is consistently a key pack performer for Italy and with 26 caps has the experience needed.
For those with a ticket to the game, a bus has been arranged which will take supporters from Old Belvedere to Ashbourne RFC and back. Details of costs and what’s included in the deal are available here.
Check with Ashbourne RFC to find out whether there are any remaining tickets available to the game. Admission is €20 per car, or €10 per adult and €5 per child.
Whether or not you can make it to any of the fixtures, the Six Nations Fantasy Rugby League continues apace. Check the website for details. Half the proceeds goes to the winner, and half goes to fundraising for St Mary’s Women’s rugby team.
In other news, since last weeks’ petition to the IRFU was set up calling for equal treatment for the Ireland women’s team, the number of signatures is steadily approaching 1,100. Sign and share if you have yet to do so!
Ireland starting XV and replacements v Italy (RBS 6 Nations)
(Ashbourne RFC, Co. Meath on 24th February, KO 19:30 GMT)
View a table of the men’s and women’s Ireland starting XVs here.
15. Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians – Munster)
13. Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians – Munster)
12. Grace Davitt (Cooke – Ulster)
11. Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield – Connacht)
10. Lynne Cantwell (Exile)
9. Amy Davis (Blackrock – Leinster)
1. Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians – Leinster) Captain
2. Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians – Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere – Leinster)
4. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere – Leinster)
5. Sophie Spence (Exile)
6. Laura Guest (Highfield – Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol – Exile)
8. Joy Neville (UL Bohemians – Munster)
16. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s – Leinster)
17. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians – Connacht)
18. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee – Munster)
19. Heather O’Brien (Highfield – Munster)
20. Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC – Ulster)
21. Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster)
22. Jennifer Murphy (Exile)
Ireland 2012 Six Nations fixtures:
† Ireland’s game against England will be streamed live online by the RFU.
Six Nations Table as at 22 Feb 2012:
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