Six Nations: Stop press! Doyle makes a change
And finally, that moment has arrived. Ireland coach, Philip Doyle, has made one change to the starting line-up for this Friday’s fixture against Scotland. Leinster’s Paula Fitzpatrick makes her first start of the Six Nations Championship in the front row between captain Fiona Coghlan and Ailis Egan, in place of Gillian Bourke.
The experienced Shannon Houston has also been recalled to the squad following injury as one of the reserve backs, at the expense of Ulster’s Nikki Caughey.
Ahead of the team’s last home game, Ireland are currently third in the Six Nations table following a narrow loss to France, and demolition of the Italians and Welsh. According to ScrumQueens, a key player for Scotland will be skipper Susie Brown, and the one to watch is flying winger Sarah Dixon.
Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle said:
The win over Wales was fantastic and we enjoyed it, but next day the focus switched to Scotland.
We have put ourselves in a good position and the girls are playing some great rugby.
This week has been about fine-tuning things and again the commitment in training has been excellent.
A win against Scotland will be important (if not necessary) ahead of what is likely to be a difficult final game of the tournament away to England on St Patrick’s Day. As has already been mentioned, Ireland needs to hold its place in the Six Nations table this year and next to be in with a chance of qualifying for the World Cup in 2014.
Ireland starting XV and replacements v Scotland
(Ashbourne RFC, Co. Meath on 9th March, KO 7:30pm)
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) (capt)
2. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Sophie Spence (Exile)
5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
6. Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8. Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster)
16. Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
17. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht)
18. Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
19. Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster)
20. Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC/Ulster)
21. Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster)
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 6th March 2012: