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One change to Ireland Women's side for Grand Slam showdown against England

Scrum-half Larissa Muldoon replaces Mary Healy in Tom Tierney’s starting team.

Ireland scrum-half Larissa Muldoon.
Ireland scrum-half Larissa Muldoon.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

IRELAND WOMEN HEAD coach Tom Tierney has made one change to his starting XV for their Grand Slam showdown against England in Donnybrook on Friday night [KO 8pm, RTÉ2]

Scrum-half Larissa Muldoon replaces Mary Healy in the side after impressing off the bench in last weekend’s dogged 12-7 win against Wales.

The odds are stacked against Ireland as they play an in-form England who have gone from strength to strength this year with what is the first professional squad in the competition’s history.

England have produced some eye-catching results this campaign, including a 63-0 away defeat of Wales and a 64-0 home victory against Scotland last time out.

Ireland props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan join Leah Lyons in the front row for the fifth successive game.

In the second row, Sophie Spence will again partner Marie-Louise Reilly, who is set to win her 50th Ireland cap.

In the back row, flankers Ciara Griffin and Claire Molloy pack down with number eight and captain Paula Fitzpatrick for the sixth game on the spin.

Out-half Nora Stapleton is partnered by Muldoon at halfback and in the centres, Sene Naoupu will again team up with Jenny Murphy.

Alison Miller and Hannah Tyrrell, whose try clinched the victory last week, line out on the wings, with Kim Flood completing the back three at fullback.

“There’s a very strong spirit in this squad that’s been developing nicely over the last few months and while the performances to date haven’t been as accurate or as clinical as we would have liked, we’ve ground out four wins in a row to set up a very big game this Friday evening in Donnybrook,” Tierney said.

“England are arriving to Dublin on the back of a huge win against Scotland so their confidence will be high, and deservedly so.

“They have shown throughout the championship that they can score tries from anywhere and they have a strong and skilful pack.”

Friday night’s match is part of a double-header in Donnybrook, as the Ireland U20s face their English counterparts in the earlier game at 6pm.

Ireland Women

15. Kim Flood
14. Hannah Tyrrell
13. Jenny Murphy
12. Sene Naoupu
11. Alison Miller
10. Nora Stapleton
9. Larissa Muldoon

1. Lindsay Peat
2. Leah Lyons
3. Ailis Egan
4. Sophie Spence
5. Marie-Louise Reilly
6. Ciara Griffin
7. Claire Molloy
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (c)

Replacements:

16. Ciara O’Connor
17. Ilse Van Staden
18. Ruth O’Reilly
19. Ciara Cooney
20. Nichola Fryday
21. Mary Healy
22. Nikki Caughey
23. Mairead Coyne

England Women

15. Danielle Waterman
14. Amy Wilson Hardy
13. Emily Scarratt
12. Amber Reed
11. Kay Wilson
10. Emily Scott
9. La Toya Mason

1. Rochelle Clark
2. Amy Cokayne
3. Justine Lucas
4. Tamara Taylor
5. Harriet Millar-Mills
6. Alex Matthews
7. Marlie Packer
8. Sarah Hunter (c)

Replacements:

16. Vicky Fleetwood
17. Vickii Cornborough
18. Laura Keates
19. Poppy Cleall
20. Izzy Noel-Smith
21. Bianca Blackburn
22. Rachael Burford
23. Lydia Thompson

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