Nora Stapleton on the run during an Irish training drill. Dan Sheridan/INPHO
wrwc 2014

Ireland go with the big guns for World Cup opener against USA

14 of Ireland’s starting 15 against the United States have Grand Slam winners’ medals.

IRELAND WOMEN COACH Philip Doyle has named an experienced XV for Friday’s World Cup opener against the United States.

14 of the 15 players to start Ireland’s first Pool B encounter have Grand Slam winners’ medals while scrum-half Tania Rosser — the odd one out — has 2006 and 2010 World Cup experience. The Leinster player is joined in the half-back pairing by Nora Stapleton.

Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan is named in the front row with hooker Gillian Bourke and tight-head Ailis Egan. Sophie Spence and Mary-Louise Reilly continue their impressive second row partnership. Heather O’Brien of Munster is named No.8 and is flanked by Siobhan Fleming and Claire Molloy.

In the backline, Grace Davitt and Lynne Cantwell team up as centres while the back three is made up of Alison Miller, Ashleigh Baxter and Niamh Briggs.

Paula Fitzpatrick and Orla Fitzsimons singing a song on the team bus Paula Fitzpatrick and Orla Fitzsimons singing a song on the team bus. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Speaking of his selection, Doyle said ”The team selection was a difficult one, we are in a very lucky position of having a strong squad to pick from. The atmosphere has been building up in camp all week and it’s time to go, the players can’t wait to get out on the pitch and get the campaign started.”

This game will be televised live on TG4 with kick-off at 4pm Irish time.

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