Tierney announces Women’s XV with Stapleton to win 50th cap

The Ireland Women’s rugby team take on Wales on Saturday in the 7th-8th place play off.

Ireland out-half Nora Stapleton will be the third member of this World Cup squad to reach a half century of caps after captain Claire Molloy and second row Marie Louise O’Reilly. The Old Belevedere player will be again alongside UL Bohs half back Nicole Cronin who made her  first international start earlier in the tournament.

Tierney has made four changes to the side that lost out to Australia in the 5th place play off semi-final, with two positional switches and two personnel switches.

Following on from that defeat to the Aussies, it has been confirmed that team captain Claire Molloy and centre Jenny Murphy have been omitted from the squad after their head injuries. Both are now following the return to play protocols before being made available again.

With Murphy injured, Tierney has brought in Katie Fitzhenry and Jeamie Deacon with Sene Naoupu dropping to the replacements. The game against Wales is that bit more special for Deacon as it will mark her first International start on Irish soil.

Both Hannah Tyrell and Alison Miller have featured in every game for the Women’s side in the tournament and are joined by another UL  Bohs player in Eimear Considine, on the wing. The front five remain the same with Munster’s Heather O’Brien coming in for the injured Molloy at No. 8 with new captain Paula Fitzpatrick moving to the blindside.

Speaking to Irishrugby.ie in advance to the game, Tierney want’s his team to finish with a win:

“It’s no secret that we didn’t want to be in this position, but it is where we have found ourselves on the final weekend, and while we’re disappointed that we’re not competing for higher honours, we want to sign off the competition with a win.

“It really is a cup final tomorrow, with the winners gaining automatic qualification for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Wales have shown they have a strong set piece, and we’ve had challenging games with them over the last few seasons in the Six Nations.

“It’s been a tough few weeks, but I know that the players really want to put in a performance tomorrow and as they have said – leave the green jersey in a better place.”

The game will be live on RTE 2 on Saturday from 2:00pm.

 

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Diarmaid Scannell

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