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Doyle determined to stun English

Ireland kick off their Women's Rugby World Cup campaign this evening in the most imposing of circumstances against hosts England in Guildford.

Philip Doyle's charges are fully focused on the intimidating opponents awaiting them as they face the Grand Slam champions and the beaten finalists in the last two tournaments.

Ireland have never beaten this English side, which boasts 689 caps, but new coach Doyle is hopeful his team can kick the tournament off with a shock.

"Hopefully we can surprise them," he said. "(Not having beaten them before) is a psychological barrier. You've got two hurdles to jump here -- you've got to beat them in a World Cup, and beat them for the first time."

Ireland lost 22-5 to the same opponents in nearby Esher last season and are hoping for a marked improvement. After facing England, Ireland take on the USA and Kazakhstan to qualify from Pool B.