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'Time to go' as Irish prepare for World Cup opener

Updated: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 13:08 | Comments

Lynne Cantwell is set to play in a remarkable fourth World Cup
Lynne Cantwell is set to play in a remarkable fourth World Cup

Head coach Philip Doyle has named an experienced side for Ireland’s opening game in the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup against the United States on Friday.

Doyle was bullish ahead of the game, saying “it’s time to go” and that Ireland were lucky to have a strong panel from which to pick.

"The atmosphere has been building up in camp all week and it's time to go, the players can't wait to get out on the pitch and get the campaign started,” Doyle said.

He admitted that the selection had been a tough one, as “we are in a very lucky position of having a strong squad to pick from”; 14 out of the starting 15 were part of Ireland’s grand slam-winning panel in 2013.

Niamh Briggs is named at fullback, with Ashleigh Baxter and Alison Miller on the wings.

Ireland’s most capped women's international, Lynne Cantwell will combine with Grace Davitt in the centre. It’s Cantwell’s fourth World Cup, a remarkable achievement for the Richmond centre.

Nora Stapleton and Tania Rosser will start at outhalf and scrumhalf, respectively.

Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan is joined in the front row by Ailis Egan and, at hooker, Gillian Bourke.

Marie Louise Reilly is joined by Sophie Spence in the second row with Siobhán Fleming and Claire Molloy joining Heather O'Brien in the back row.

Ireland v USA, IRB Women's Rugby World Cup, Marcoussis, Paris.  Friday 1 August, 1600 Irish time.

Live on TG4

Ireland: 15 Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); 14 Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), 13 Lynne Cantwell (Richmond RFC/Exile), 12 Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), 11 Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht); 10 Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 9 Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster); 1 Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster), 2 Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), 3 Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster); 4 Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 5 Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); 6 Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), 7 Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), 8 Heather O'Brien (Highfield RFC/Munster).

Replacements: 16 Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 17 Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), 18 Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), 19 Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary's College/Leinster), 20 Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), 21 Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 22 Jackie Shiels (Richmond RFC/Exile).

Ireland’s Pool B Fixtures:

Friday, 1 August 
Ireland v USA, Marcoussis pitch 2, 1600 Irish time

Tuesday, 5 August
New Zealand v Ireland, Marcoussis pitch 1, 1700 Irish time

Saturday, 9 August
Ireland v Kazakhstan, Marcoussis pitch 2, 1200 Irish time

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