The teams have been announced for Ireland’s second WRWC2017 Pool C game to be played tomorrow (Sunday) evening at UCD Bowl, kick off 17:15.

Sorry for the delay in getting these up but there was a disciplinary for one of the Japanese players and their team announcement was delayed. The upshot of the disciplinary is that influential centre Makiko Tomita has relieved a 3 match ban and will not be available to play until the final round of the competition.

Ireland have made five personnel changes and two  positional switch to the team that started against Australia. Katie Fitzhenrey, Ciara O’Connor and Ciara Grifin all move into the starting line up, from the bench, with Mairead Coyne and Nicole Cronin making their first starts of the tournament. Ashleigh Baxter, the only Ulster starter, moves from blindside to openside and Claire Molloy moves from openside to No. 8.

Anna Caplice, Jeamie Deacon and Louise Galvin join the match day squad for the first time and will start on the bench.

It’s very much an untried Ireland side and it’ll be interesting to see how they perform. There is the security of the tried and tested Molloy, Spence, Moloney and Pleat in the forwards and Stapleton, Miller and Naoupu in the backs with Egan, Fitzpatrick and Muldoon on the bench should things not go as planned.

As we said, Japan will be missing their defensive centre Makiko Tomita but versatile back and FRU Favourite Riho Kurogi does start in her place. With the exception of Sophie Spence, Ireland have downplayed the physical impact of their side and Japan will certainly appreciate a faster paced game with less of the physical challenge. Whether either of these sides has the skills to fully exploit, what should be an open game, has yet to be determined.

The FRU Predicts: I suspect it’ll be a disjointed game as various players try to find their feet at this level. However Ireland’s determination and their experienced core should see them scrap out another win to keep their campaign on track.

IRELAND   JAPAN
Mairead Coyne 15 Mayu Shimizu
Hannah Tyrrell 14 Eriko Hirano
Katie Fitzhenry 13  Iroha Nagata
Sene Naoupu 12 Riho Kurogi
Alison Miller 11 Honoka Tsutsumi
Nora Stapleton 10 Minori Yamamoto
Nicole Cronin 9 Moe Tsukui
Lindsay Peat 1 Makoto Ebuchi
Cliodhna Moloney 2 Seina Saito
Ciara O’Connor 3 Saki Minami
Ciara Cooney 4 Aoi Mimura
Sophie Spence 5 Ayano Sakurai
Ciara Griffin 6 Yuki Sue
Ashleigh Baxter 7  Sayaka Suzuki
Claire Molloy 8 Maki Takano
Leah Lyons 16 Misaki Suzuki
Ruth O’Reilly 17 Mizuho Kataoka
Ailis Egan 18 Maiko Fujimoto
Paula Fitzpatrick 19 Aya Nakajima
Anna Caplice 20 Yui Shiozaki
Larissa Muldoon 21 Yumeno Noda
Jeamie Deacon 22 Ayaka Suzuki
Louise Galvin 23 Ai Tasaka

 

 

#SUFTUM