Saturday 19 January 2019

Griggs and Briggs Show won't be enough for Irish

Women's Rugby, France v Ireland, Tom, 8.0 (Irish time)

Niamh Briggs
Niamh Briggs

Ireland have pushed the reset button with the appointment of Adam Griggs as the new head coach.

The affable New Zealander knows his group inside-out from his time as Leinster coach.

While Munster were victorious in the Inter-provincial series, Griggs has opted for a spread of eight Leinster women, four from Munster, two from Connacht and one from Ulster.

Typically, Griggs' philosophy is one of attacking rugby where the ball is moved into space.

This should play into the hands of left wing Allison Miller and debut-maker Megan Williams on the other wing.

They will go nowhere fast without enough of the right kind of ball to worry their hosts.

The relocation of Niamh Briggs to out-half from full-back does offer more options on how to attack whether through the hands or her boot. Claire Molloy has been relieved of the captaincy to allow Claire Griffin to assume the main leadership responsibilities.

The front-five is a mobile unit with the front row of Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Fiona Reidy backed-up by Ciara Cooney and Oral Fitzsimons.

Thy will have to be at their dogged best to put it up to a French collective about as unwilling to lose at home as their male counterparts.

France: J Trémoulière; C Boujard, J Le Pesq, C Boudaud, C Banet; P Bourdon, Y Rivoalen; R Ménager, G Hermet (capt), M Mayans, S N'Diaye, C Ferer, J Duval, A Sochat, L Arricastre.Replacements: G Mignot, D Traore, P Carricaburu, A Forlani, C Diallo; E Coudert, G Vernier, M Ménager.

Ireland: K Flood; M Williams, C McLaughlin, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Briggs, A Hughes; L Peat, C Moloney, F Reidy, C Cooney, O Fitzsimons, A Caplice, C Molloy, C Griffin (capt). Replacements: L Lyons, L Feely, C O'Connor, N Fryday, P Fitzpatrick; M Healy N Caughey, M Coyne.

Verdict: France

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