The teams have been announced for the Italy v Ireland Women’s Six Nations match. The match takes place at Stadio Tommaso Fattori, L’Aquila, on Sunday, February 12. Kick-off 13:00 UK/IRE. The match will be streamed live here Women’s Six Nations YouTube

Ireland have made four changes. Hannah Tyrrell and Elaine Anthony come into the starting line up and Ciara Cooney and Sophie Spence join the bench. Ulster’s duo, Claire McLaughlin and Ilse van Staden, remain on the bench. 

This will be a difficult game for the Irish side. Italy put on a good show, at home, against a strong Wales last week and they were unlucky to go down 8 – 20 at the final whistle. Wales also caused Ireland plenty of problems in their pre Women’s Six Nations run out so everything is pointing to a close match. 

Ireland were pretty lucky to come away with any points against Scotland last week, let alone the bonus. They will have to sharpen up their game considerably if they are going to make it two from two and the somewhat subdued back row will have to find a much higher standard. 

Limited front foot ball and a centre pairing that didn’t mesh caused frustrations. But it has to be admired that they battled through and found a worthwhile pass in the 81st minute. However, I don’t think they will be able to push their luck to such an extent this week!

Spence, certainly has the potential to add something from the bench. Personally, I’d like to see McLaughlin and Murphy get twenty minutes together. 

The FRU Predicts

Ireland’s back row and midfield need to get their act together. If they do Ireland should win, but it’ll be a close one. 

ITALY WOMEN   IRELAND WOMEN
Manuela Furlan 15 Mairead Coyne
Michela Sillari 14 Hannah Tyrrell
Mariagrazia Cioffi 13 Jenny Murphy
Sofia Stefan 12 Sene Naoupu
Maria Magatti 11 Alison Miller
Beatrice Rigoni 10 Nora Stapleton
Sara Barattin 9 Ailsa Hughes
Elisa Cucchiella 1 Lindsay Peat
Melissa Bettoni 2 Leah Lyons
Lucia Gai 3 Ailis Egan
Flavia Severin 4 Elaine Anthony
Alice Trevisan 5 Marie Louise Reilly
Lucia Cammarano 6 Ciara Griffin
Isabellla Locatelli 7 Claire Molloy
Elisa Giordano 8 Paula Fitzpatrick
     
Marta Ferrari 16 Jennie Finlay
Gaia Giacomoli 17 Ilse van Staden
Michela Este 18 Ciara O’Connor
Elisa Pillotti 19 Ciara Cooney
Ilaria Arrighetti 20 Sophie Spence
Claudia Salvadego 21 Mary Healy
Silvia Fooli 22 Claire McLaughlin
Paola Zangirolami 23 Eimear Considine

#SUFTUM