Tom Tierney makes three changes to Ireland side to face Australia

The Ireland Women’s team to face Australia in Tuesday’s 5th-8th place play-off in Belfast has been confirmed. There are three changes to the side that started against France in last week’s Pool C decider.

Ireland kick off the day at Kingspan Stadium at 2pm ahead of the two Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 semi-finals.

Head coach Tom Tierney has made three changes to the starting XV from the game against France, with UL Bohemian club woman Louise Galvin handed her first 15s international start on the right wing. The girls in green defeated Australia 19-17 at UCD on the opening night of WRWC 2017.

Cliodhna Moloney and Ciara Cooney return to the tight five, starting at hooker and in the second row respectively as Leah Lyons and Sophie Spence both drop to the bench. Cooney will combine with Marie Louise Reilly in the engine room, while Moloney teams up with Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan in the front row.

The back row is the same as last week with UL Bohs’ Ciara Griffin, team captain Claire Molloy and Paula Fitzpatrick all retained in their positions. Peat and Molloy will be making their fourth starts of the tournament.

Limerick’s Nicole Cronin has held onto the number 9 jersey, partnering Donegal woman Nora Stapleton who will win cap number 49. Jenny Murphy and Sene Naoupu, who hits the 20-cap mark, feature again in midfield, with the newly-introduced Galvin linking up with Alison Miller, who is set for her 40th appearance, and Hannah Tyrrell in the back-three.

Ulster prop Ilse van Staden, who was called up for the injured Ruth O’Reilly, is on the bench with Anna Caplice and Claire McLaughlin also named among the replacements as they look to make their World Cup debuts in the green jersey.

Speaking about the start of the WRWC 2017 play-offs, Tierney said:

“Since arriving in Belfast on Friday the squad have had some down-time and settled well into the city and training has been very positive.

“We know what the Australians will bring to the game tomorrow, and we will have to be ready to match their physicality from the start. We’ve reviewed our own games and looked at areas where we can improve in both attack and defence. There is huge pride in this team and we’re looking to finish this tournament with two performances.”

Tuesday’s play-off encounter between Ireland and Australia will be broadcast live on eir Sport 1 and RTE Two, while RTE 2fm will have live commentary on radio. There will also be live streaming on www.rwcwomens.com – available in certain regions.

IRELAND WOMEN’S Team & Replacements (v Australia, 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup – 5th-8th Place Play-Off, Kingspan Stadium, Tuesday, August 22, kick-off 2pm):

15. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
14. Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
12. Sene Naoupu (Harlequins)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster)
5. Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht) (capt)
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s/Leinster)

Replacements:

16. Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
17. Ilse van Staden (Cooke/Ulster)
18. Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht)
19. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
20. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster)
21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union/Ulster)
22. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
23. Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster)

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