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Ireland reduce squad ahead of Japan trial games as World Cup prep intensifies

Tom Tierney’s side face their Pool C opponents in two uncapped fixtures.

Ireland head coach Tom Tierney.
Ireland head coach Tom Tierney.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Updated at 17.30pm

IRELAND’S PREPARATIONS FOR this summer’s World Cup will intensify over the next six days as Tom Tierney’s side enter a training camp and play Japan, one of their Pool C opponents, in two trial games.

Tierney has reduced his original 48-player training squad by eleven for this weekend’s camp at UCD and the two uncapped outings against Japan will help the head coach shape his panel further.

Captain Niamh Briggs is included as she continues her comeback from a hamstring injury while the likes of Sophie Spence, Lindsay Peat, Alison Miller and Marie-Louise Reilly will all be involved.

Jenny Murphy and Ailis Egan are, however, unavailable through injury while sevens players Stacey and Kim Flood, captain Lucy Mulhall and Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe are among the other players not selected for the camp.

The two fixtures against Japan in Belfield won’t be open to the public but the IRFU say match reports will be made available on their website.

Jenny Murphy Jenny Murphy is injured and misses out this weekend. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Speaking ahead of the camp, Tierney said plans ‘are progressing well’ ahead of the start of the World Cup in August when Ireland face Australia, Japan and France in the pool stages.

“Having taken some time to recover after the Six Nations, the players have gone through a tough physical conditioning programme over the last number of weeks, while we have also been working on our plans on the field through regular skills sessions,” he said.

“This camp in UCD gives everyone the opportunity to become familiar with the facilities on campus. We had a good taster back in November, but this gives us the chance to really understand what it will be like in August.

“Japan are currently in Europe, playing a number of games themselves as part of their own preparation, so to have the chance to play two trial games against them over the coming days gives us the chance to replicate a World Cup environment, where we’ll be playing a game, recovering and then getting prepared to go out and perform again – all in the space of four days.”

Ireland’s campaign begins on Wednesday 9 August against Australia at the UCD Bowl before games against Japan and France at the same venue on 13 and 17 August.

The competition then heads north to Belfast where the knock-out stages will be played out at Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium.

Ireland’s training camp squad:

Forwards

Elaine Anthony (Highfield/Munster)
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster)
Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)
Jennie Finlay (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht)
Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster)
Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster)
Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht)
Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht)
Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Ilse van Staden (Cooke/Ulster)

Backs

Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Leinster)
Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht)
Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht)
Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster)
Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster)
Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Aylesford Bulls)
Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s College)

– Article updated at 17.30pm to include details of the omission of Ailis Egan and Jenny Murphy. Both players are injured and not available for selection this weekend.

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