Tom Tierney names starting XV for do or die French clash

Tom Tierney names starting XV as UL Bohemians Ciara Griffin and Nicole Cronin retaining places.

Tom Tierney has made a few changes from the side that beat Japan 24-14 on Sunday evening bringing in some of the impact subs along with the impressive starters.

At scrum half, UL Bohemians player Nicole Cronin makes her second international start after impressing in her first against Japan on Sunday. Also in the backline, the hard hitting Jenny Murphy comes in for Katie Fitzhenry who drops to the bench. Hannah Tyrell moves back to full back with another UL Bohs player, Eimear Considine moving onto the wing. Another of the UL Bohs contingent, Louise Galvin keeps her spot on the bench

In the front row, Lindsay peat keeps her place with last Sunday’s impact sub Leah Lyons getting the nod at hooker. Ailis Egan starts at tighthead with Ciara O’Connor moving back onto the bench.

In the second row, Sophie Spence, who has had a superb World Cup so far, starts with Marie-Louise Reilly coming in to partner her. Ciara Cooney, who started against Japan drops out of the Squad.

In the back row Captain Claire Molloy keeps her place at openside as does UL Bohs and Munster player Ciara Griffin at blindside. Paula Fitzpatrick, who scored two vital tries from the bench against Japan starts on Thursday with Asleigh Baxter moving to the substitutes.

Munster player and Ireland Women’s veteran, Heather O’Brien comes into the side on the bench with Jeamie Deacon and Anna Caplice dropping out.

Speaking after the team announcement, Tierney is expecting a huge challenge from the French.

“We’ve had lots of tough games against France over the years and we know tomorrow evening is going to be no different,” 

“They have looked really good in their opening two games of the tournament and they’ll be coming into this game full of confidence.

“It’s a cup final tomorrow night, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs, so we want the players to go out there and give it everything.

“It won’t be easy, but with the crowd behind them, they have the ability to claim a place in the final four.”

Here is the Irish team in full.

Ireland (v France): 15 Hannah Tyrrell, 14 Eimear Considine, 13 Jenny Murphy, 12 Sene Naoupu, 11 Alison Miller, 10 Nora Stapleton, 9 Nicole Cronin; 1 Lindsay Peat, 2 Leah Lyons, 3 Ailis Egan, 4 Sophie Spence, 5 Marie-Louise Reilly, 6 Ciara Griffin, 7 Claire Molloy (Capt), 8 Paula Fitzpatrick

Reps: 16 Cliodhna Moloney, 17 Ruth O’Reilly, 18 Ciara O’Connor, 19. Ashleigh Baxter, 20 Heather O’Brien, 21 Larissa Muldoon, 22 Katie Fitzhenry, 23 Louise Galvin

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