The teams have been announced for the match between Ireland Women and France Women in the Women’s Six Nations which takes place at Donnybrook on Saturday. Kick off 7:00pm. There should be some live streaming somewhere up north so check out our Facebook page nearer the time.

Ulster’s Kathryn Dane makes her second consecutive start and she’s joined in the starting line up by Ulster teammate Claire McLaughlin who starts in the back row for the first time this series. Claire Boles retains her spot on the bench.

Team FRU player Enya Breen gets her first call up, following an injury to Michelle Claffey, with the 19 year old going straight into the starting line up, alongside Sene Naoupu at centre.

It’s a long overdue call up for the talented UL Bohemian player who has shone at every level. Despite her youth, she will bring a lot of composure to the Irish midfield. A real XV’s player steeped in the game, first at Skibbereen RFC and now at UL Bohemian.

In other changes, Railway Union’s Juliett Short has been handed the difficult role of slotting into second row in the absence of Aoife McDermott and sevens player Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird gets her first start at hooker due to an injury to Leah Lyons. Scrumhalf Nicole Cronin returns from a lengthy injury to take a spot on the bench.

France have also been hit by injuries, making six changes from the team that beat Scotland, convincingly, last time out. The French seem to have recovered somewhat from their dismal first half showing against England, in the second round, but they won’t be happy with their current standing in the league table, so Ireland may still feel some backlash from a disgruntled team.

Of course Ireland will also be looking for some sort of response following their first ever loss to Italy, in this competition, so expect the opening quarter to be feisty!

Women’s Six Nations Current Standings
TEAM PL W D L PF PA DIFF TF TA TB LB PTS
England 3 3 0 0 143 45 98 24 7 3 0 15
Italy 3 2 1 0 60 37 23 8 5 2 0 12
France 3 2 0 1 119 54 65 20 9 3 0 11
Ireland 3 1 0 2 56 85 -29 9 13 2 1 7
Wales 3 0 1 2 18 106 -88 2 18 0 0 2
Scotland 3 0 0 3 22 91 -69 4 15 0 0 0

 

It should be an interesting game featuring two teams who have been playing in fits and starts.

Ireland have rammed a few players into different positions and are hoping they do a job and France have been exceedingly careless with the ball in hand and have been a touch lazy in defence. Neither coach seems to have decided on a style of play to suit their resources.

The forced changes may see both teams settle on a simple game, and it would be all the better for that, though, whatever they settle on, France will still be clear favourites – unless they self destruct.

Having said that, while Ireland can still call on the services of world class players, like Claire Molloy and Allison Miller, they will always have a chance.

Update – Friday 8th March 14:50

There are two injury enforced changes to the Ireland Women’s team to play France in Energia Park on Saturday evening. In the second row Juliet Short has been ruled out and is replaced by Aoife McDermott with Nichola Fryday moving to 5. In the replacements, Megan Williams is also ruled out through injury. Beibhinn Parsons, who made her debut in the Women’s November Series, comes in at 23.

We’ve amended the team list accordingly.

Ireland Women France Women
Lauren Delany 15 Jessy Trémoulière
Eimear Considine 14 Caroline Boujard
Enya Breen 13 Yolaine Yengo
Sene Naoupu 12 Gabrielle Vernier
Alison Miller 11 Ian Jason
Nicole Fowley 10 Pauline Bourdon
Kathryn Dane 9 Yanna Rivoalen
Laura Feely 1 Lise Arricastre
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird 2 Caroline Thomas
Fiona Reidy 3 Clara Joyeux
Aoife McDermott 4 Celine Ferer
Nichola Fryday 5 Audrey Forlani
Ciara Griffin 6 Gaelle Hermet
Claire Molloy 7 Coumba Diallo
Claire McLaughlin 8 Romane Ménager
Emma Hooba 16 Laure Touye
Lindsay Peat 17 Mailys Traore
Linda Djougang 18 Chloe Pelle
Anna Caplice 19 Laetita Bobo
Claire Boles 20 Fiona Lecat
Nicole Cronin 21 Emma Coudert
Ellen Murphy 22 Camille Imart
Beibhinn Parsons 23 Marine Ménager

#SUFTUM