Ireland Women’s Head Coach Tom Tierney has named the Ireland Women’s side, sponsored by Aon, to play Canada in their second game of the November Series this Saturday in the UCD Bowl at 2pm.

Tierney has made ten changes (including two new caps),  to the starting team that narrowly lost out 12-10 to England last Sunday in Belfield as he continues to develop his squad ahead of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, which will take place in Ireland next August.

Paula Fitzpatrick will again captain the side from Number 8 and she will be joined in the back-row by Railway Union’s Ciara Cooney and UL Bohemians’ Anna Caplice, who will  be wining her first Ireland Women’s XV cap, having previously represented her country with the Ireland Women’s Sevens side.

In the second-row, Nichola Fryday will also win her first Ireland cap on Saturday. The 21 year-old UCD student plays her club rugby with Tullamore RFC and she will be partnered by Blackrock College’s Katie Norris.

The Munster trio of Fiona Hayes, Zoe Grattage and Fiona Reidy will form a new-look front row.

There are two changes in the backs, as Tierney names a new half-back partnership of Galwegians’ scrum-half Mary Healy and Belfast-born out-half Nikki Caughey.

In the centres, Sene Naoupu will again link up with Nicole Folwey. Sligo native Fowley won her first cap last week against England and they will have the same back three outside them as full-back Mairead Coyne and wingers Alison Miller and Niamh Kavanagh line out for the second weekend in a row.

Womens november series UCD Bowl Belfield Dublin 13/11/2016 Ireland vs England Ireland’s Nicole Fowley Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ireland’s Nicole Fowley
Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

In the replacements, hooker Leah Lyons, who was one of three players to win their first caps against England, will be looking to add a second to her tally if she is required from the bench. Also providing front row cover will be Ailis Egan and Lindsay Peat.

Elaine Anthony and Chloe Pearse are the other forwards on the bench and Larissa Muldoon, Jackie Shiels and Claire McLaughlin provide backs cover.
Speaking on the announcement, Tom Tierney said;

There were lots of positives to take from last Sunday’s game against England. While the result didn’t go in our favour, the players will take a lot from the performance and we will be looking to build on this over the next two week against Canada and New Zealand.

This weekend, Canada will present us with a new and different challenge.

We know England well from playing them in the Six Nations, but this week’s opposition are less familiar to us. They have a very strong rugby programme in Canada and were runners up at the last World Cup, so we will have to play smart rugby against them and stick to our game plan.

We’ve two more new caps this week as well, so we’re looking forward to seeing how Anna and Nichola get on in UCD.”

Tickets for the Women’s November Series are on sale at:

The game will be streamed live via the Irish Rugby YouTube Channel (

Ireland Women v Canada Women, 2pm, Saturday 19th November 2016, UCD Bowl
15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians / Munster)
13. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians / Connacht)
12. Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere / Connacht)
10. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union / Ulster)
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians / Connacht)
1. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians / Munster)
2. Zoe Grattage (Highfield / Munster)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians / Munster)
4. Katie Norris (Blackrock College / Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore RFC / Connacht)*
6. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union / Leinster)
7. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians / Munster)*
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s / Leinster) Captain

16. Leah Lyons (Highfield / Munster)
17. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union / Leinster)
18. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
19. Elaine Anthony (Highfield / Munster)
20 .Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians / Munster)
21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
22. Jackie Shiels (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
23. Claire McLaughlin (Cooke / Ulster)

*Denotes new cap


Jordan Conroy named in Ireland Men’s 7s squad for Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series