The teams were announced yesterday for the Women’s Six Nations clash between Wales Women’s and Ireland Women that takes place on Saturday morning at Cardiff Arms Park. Kick off 11:30. Live on YouTube.
Ireland Coach Tom Tierney has made three personnel changes and one positional change to the team that beat France. From a Ulster perspective Claire McLaughlin drops out with an ankle injury which means no Ulster representation in the starting line up. However, Ilse van Staden, Nikki Caughey and Larissa Muldoon all start on the bench.
Returning Sevens players Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrrell and Sene Naoupu all go straight back into the starting line up. Naoupu taking McLaughlin’s place in the centre, Miller and Tyrrell going to the wings with Kim Flood moving to full back at the expense of Mairead Coyne who drops to the bench. The rest of the backs stay the same.
There are no changes up front.
Wales, after their shock defeat by Scotland, have made seven changes to their team though it appears to be largely the return of senior players who were unadvisedly “rested” for the Scotland game. Loose head Caryl Thomas, No.8 Shona Powell-Hughes, scrum half Keira Bevan, fly half Robyn Wilkins and wing Adi Taviner all come into the starting line-up. Two of the changes are positional, as Sioned Harries moves to the blindside, and Elen Evans goes from left wing to the right.
It will be an emotional game for the home team, following the tragic loss of Elli Norkett in a car accident, as Head coach Rowland Phillips states;
“We need to perform and keep our concentration, because we know what an emotional occasion it will be. Elli was important to so many people. It’s fitting and right that we’ll be able to pay our respects to her on Saturday, and we’ll all be carrying our memories of her this weekend.”
It’s another must win game for Ireland as they chase down that showdown against England on St Patricks day. The camp has a bit of an edge about it following the negative publicity surrounding the removal of players last time out. How these varying emotions will work themselves out is anyone’s guess.
The FRU Predicts: As with the men’s game I can see this going either way. However I think Wales have just too much to prove to lose this one and I’m going for a home win. Don’t worry though, I predicted France to win last time out. So, yet again, hopefully the players will prove me wrong. #COYGIG
|WALES WOMEN||IRELAND WOMEN|
|Dyddgu Hywel||15||Kim Flood|
|Elen Evans||14||Hannah Tyrrell|
|Kerin Lake||13||Jenny Murphy|
|Rebecca de Filippo||12||Sene Naoupu|
|Adi Taviner||11||Alison Miller|
|Robyn Wilkins||10||Nora Stapleton|
|Keira Bevan||9||Mary Healy|
|Caryl Thomas||1||Lindsay Peat|
|Carys Phillips||2||Leah Lyons|
|Amy Evans||3||Ailis Egan|
|Rebecca Rowe||4||Sophie Spence|
|Mel Clay||5||Marie Louise Reilly|
|Sioned Harries||6||Ciara Griffin|
|Rachel Taylor||7||Claire Molloy|
|Shona Powell-Hughes||8||Paula Fitzpatrick|
|Lowri Harries||16||Ciara O’Connor|
|Cerys Hale||17||Ilse van Staden|
|Gwenllian Pyrs||18||Ruth O’Reilly|
|Siwan Lillicrap||19||Ciara Cooney|
|Alisha Butchers||20||Nichola Fryday|
|Rhiannon Parker||21||Larissa Muldoon|
|Elinor Snowsill||22||Nikki Caughey|
|Gemma Rowland||23||Mairead Coyne|