Seven Connacht Players In Grand Slam Decider Squad

15 March 2017

Seven Connacht Players In Grand Slam Decider Squad
Head Coach Tom Tierney has confirmed the Ireland Women's side, sponsored by Aon, to take on England in Donnybrook this Friday night at 8pm.

Alison Miller starts on the wing for Ireland.

There are seven Connacht players in the squad with flying winger Alison Miller and flanker Claire Molloy both starting. Ciara O’Connor, Ruth O’Reilly, Nichola Fryday, Mary Healy and Mairead Coyne are among the replacements.

The side for the Championship decider shows one change to the team that defeated Wales 12-7 last weekend, as scrum-half Larissa Muldoon comes into the starting XV as Healy moves to the bench.

The remainder of the line-up is unchanged as props Lindsay Peat and Ailis Egan join Leah Lyons in the front row for the fifth successive game.

In the second-row, Sophie Spence will again partner Marie-Louise Reilly, who is set to win her 50th Ireland Cap this Friday.

In the back-row, flankers Ciara Griffin and Molloy pack down with Number 8 and captain Paula Fitzpatrick for their sixth consecutive game in a row.

Out-half Nora Stapleton is partnered by Muldoon at half-back and in the centres, Sene Naoupu will again partner Jenny Murphy.

In the back-three, Miller and Hannah Tyrrell line out on the wings, with Kim Flood at full-back.

Speaking ahead of the St. Patrick's Day game, Head Coach Tierney said: "There's a very strong spirit in this squad that's been developing nicely over the last few months and, while the performances to date haven't been as accurate or as clinical as we would have liked, we've ground out four wins in a row to set up a very big game this Friday evening in Donnybrook.

“England are arriving to Dublin on the back of a huge win against Scotland so their confidence will be high, and deservedly so.

“They have shown throughout the Championship that they can score tries from anywhere and they have a strong and skilful pack as well.

“From our point of view, we have a huge opportunity on St. Patrick's Day and for us it's about looking to rectify some of the areas of our game that we haven't been happy with over the past few weeks and if we can make those small changes, then Friday evening's game should be a great one.”

Friday night's match is part of a double-header in Donnybrook, as the Ireland U20s face their English counterparts in the earlier game at 6pm.

Limited tickets are available from

Ireland Women v England, Friday 17th March, 2017, 8pm, Donnybrook Stadium

15 Kim Flood (Railway Union / Leinster)

14 Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

13 Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

12 Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)

11 Alison Miller (Old Belvedere / Connacht)

10 Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

9 Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)

1 Lindsay Peat (Railway Union / Leinster)

2 Leah Lyons (Highfield / Munster)

3 Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

4 Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

5 Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere / Leinster)

6 Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians / Munster)

7 Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht)

8 Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College / Leinster) Captain



16 Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians / Connacht)

17 Ilse Van Staden (Cooke / Ulster)

18 Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians / Connacht)

19 Ciara Cooney (Railway Union / Leinster)

20 Nichola Fryday (Tullamore / Connacht)

21 Mary Healy (Galwegians / Connacht)

22 Nikki Caughey (Railway Union / Ulster)

23 Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)

Ireland Women's Six Nations Fixtures & Results

Friday 3rd February 2017

Scotland Women 15-22 Ireland Women, Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow

Sunday 12th February 2017

Italy Women 3-27 Ireland Women, Stadio Tommaso Fattori, L'Aquila

Sunday 26th February 2017

Ireland Women 13-10 France Women, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Saturday 11th March 2017

Wales Women 7-12 Ireland Women, BT Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Friday 17th March 2017

Ireland Women v England Women, 8pm, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

The game will be broadcast live on RTE 2 and on radio on an extended edition of GameOn on RTE 2fm.