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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

Griggs makes six changes for Ireland's trip to face England at Twickenham

Captain Ciara Griffin has been ruled out of Saturday’s November international through injury.

IRELAND WOMEN’S HEAD coach Adam Griggs has made six changes to his team for Saturday’s November international against England at Twickenham [KO 5.20pm, Sky Sport].

Captain Ciara Griffin and Ciara Cooney both suffered shoulder injuries in the defeat to USA at Donnybrook and are ruled out, while Leinster hooker Emma Hooban is handed her first start. 

Adam Griggs Ireland women's head coach Adam Griggs. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

There will also be a senior international debut for Juliet Short of Railway Union, as she is named to start at number eight in the back row with Jeamie Deacon and the ever-present Claire Molloy.

Five of the changes come in the pack, with Hooban and tighthead prop Leah Lyons coming into the front row to partner Lindsay Peat, who will win her 24th cap at the weekend.

Nichola Fryday replaces Cooney, who dislocated her shoulder last week, while Deacon and Short come into the back row alongside Molloy. 

Sene Naoupu captains the side in Griffin’s absence and continues her midfield partnership with Leinster team-mate Michelle Claffey, while Griggs names Nicole Cronin at scrum-half in the one change to the backline. 

Last weekend’s try-scorers, Laura Sheehan and Eimear Considine, take their place on the wings, with Lauren Delany at fullback and 16-year-old Beibhinn Parsons named on the bench. 

There is one new cap amongst the replacements, with out-half Ellen Murphy coming into the 23.

“Although we finished strong on Sunday against the USA, overall we were disappointed with aspects of the game and the end result,” Griggs said.

“We have reviewed the footage and are aware of the areas we need to improve as we have a big test this Saturday in Twickenham.

We will be focusing on our own game and are looking to put in a strong performance to finish these November Tests on a positive.

Ireland are bidding to bounce back from last Sunday’s 19-10 loss to USA but face a stiff challenge in the form of second-ranked England, in a dress rehearsal for the Six Nations opener next February. 

England women have only ever lost one game at Twickenham, against France in 2013, and in their two November internationals have scored 84 points against USA and Canada.

Saturday’s game forms part of a Twickenham double-header, with Eddie Jones’ England hosting Australia in their final November Test at 3pm. 

Tickets for the women’s game are free and can be secured here, while the game is also live on Sky Sports Mix/Main Event/Action.  

Ireland women:

15. Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby)
14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)
13. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster) Captain
12. Michelle Claffey (Blackrock College/Leinster)
11. Laura Sheehan (UL Bohemian/Munster)
10. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Leinster)
9. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster)

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
2. Emma Hooban (St.Mary’s College/Leinster)
3. Leah Lyons (Harlequins)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/Connacht)
6. Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College/Leinster)
7. Claire Molloy (Wasps)
8. Juliet Short (Railway Union/Leinster)*


16. Sarah Mimnagh (Richmond/IQ Rugby)
17. Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)
18. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/Munster)
19. Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/Ulster)
20. Edel McMahon (Galwegians/Connacht)
21. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster)
22. Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*
23. Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Connacht).  

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Ryan Bailey

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