herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Irish women have appetite to wound the Welsh

Ireland Women v Welsh Women, Ashbourne, tonight 7.30

There has been a real shake-up in the Irish Women's squad. Full-back Ashleigh Baxter and second row Sophie Spence will make their international debuts.

This is a daunting prospect for any player. But, they will be surrounded by a cluster of experienced players, like captain Fiona Coghlan at loose-head and Ireland's most capped player in fly-half Lynne Cantwell.

Centre Grace Davitt is back in the centre, alongside Niamh Briggs, after a full season out of the side. She will be eager to make her mark.

Of course, it all starts up front where the front row will have to steady their feet at the scrum so that excellent number eight Joy Neville can be lunched off the base.

Verdict: Ireland

Ireland: A Baxter; N Kavanagh, N Briggs, G Davitt, A Miller; L Cantwell, A Davis; F Coghlan, A Bourke, A Egan, M-L Reilly, S Spence, L Guest, C Molloy, J Neville.

Wales: M Evans; C Murray, P Tuttiett, A Taviner, R Fletcher; N Thomas, L Prosser; C Thomas, R Bowden, J Davies, V Owens, S Powell-Hughes, S Harries, R Taylor (capt), J Kift.

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