There are no changes expected to the Ireland Women’s squad from the team that took part in the opening fixture against Wales.
As that match was abandoned at half time, due to freezing conditions, with Ireland leading 10 – 3 it is only fair that the same girls get a run out over the full 80.
It will be a difficult game for Ireland and I had thought that City of Derry’s Stacey Lea Kennedy may have got the call up for this one to help counter what is likely an aggressive onslaught from the big French pack.
Ireland pushed the French all the way last season at Ashbourne and were unlucky not to come away with a win but they have never won in France, with the home side usually having more of a physical presence. However after an impressive first half performance against Wales the Irish girls will be travelling with a degree of hope.
With an exciting back three of Baxter, Kavanagh and Miller combined with the formidable Briggs and Davitt in midfield the Ireland team may just have the ammunition in the back line to cause an upset. It will all depend on whether they can get degree of parity up front!
The match kicks of in Pau, France an Saturday at 17:30 local time, 16:30 UK/Ireland, and it’ll kick start our live text coverage of France v Ireland featuring the Women, U20′s and Seniors throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.
Ireland Women: (15-9) Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh , Niamh Briggs, Grace Davitt, Alison Miller, Lynne Cantwell, Amy Davis. (1-8) Fiona Coghlan, Gillian Bourke, Ailis Egan, Marie Louise Reilly, Sophie Spence, Laura Guest, Claire Molloy, Joy Neville. (16-22) Paula Fitzpatrick, Ruth O’Reilly, Siobhan Fleming, Heather O’Brien, Larissa Muldoon, Nikki Caughey, Jennifer Murphy