Ireland Women’s head coach Scott Bemand has named his matchday squad for Saturday’s second round of the WXV3 against Colombia at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai (Kick-off 5pm local time/2pm Irish time).
Ireland made an impressive start against Kazakhstan last week securing a record 109–0 result. All three rounds of Ireland’s inaugural WXV tournament games are streamed for free on RugbyPass TV – click here to register.
Bemand has selected another experienced squad for the second round match on Saturday evening, with co-captains Sam Monaghan and Edel McMahon starting in the second row and back row respectively.
The co-captains form part of a strong pack, with Linda Djougang, Neve Jones and Christy Haney named in the front row. Eimear Corri starts the game this week, having won her first cap last Saturday, and joins Monaghan in the engine room. Grace Moore is at blindside flanker, McMahon at openside and Brittany Hogan at number eight.
The backline contains an exciting blend of youth and experience, with Connacht duo Meabh Deely and Béibhinn Parsons, and Natasja Behan starting in the back three. Aoife Dalton and Eve Higgins are paired together in midfield, as Connacht teammates Aoibheann Reilly and Nicole Fowley are selected in the half-backs.
Bemand has named one uncapped player on the bench, with forward Fiona Tuite in line to make her Test debut in green.
Ireland Women (v Colombia): Méabh Deely (Connacht), Béibhinn Parsons (Connacht), Eve Higgins (Leinster), Aoife Dalton (Leinster), Natasja Behan (Leinster), Nicola Fowley (Connacht), Aoibheann Reilly (Connacht); Linda Djougang (Leinster), Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury), Christy Haney (Leinster), Eimear Corri (Leinster), Sam Monaghan (co-captain, Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby), Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby), (Edel McMahon (co-captain, Exeter Chiefs), Brittany Hogan (Ulster).
Replacements: Sarah Delaney (Leinster), Niamh O’Dowd (Leinster), Megan Collis (Leinster), Fiona Tuite (Ulster)*, Dorothy Wall (Munster), Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Leinster), Dannah O’Brien (Leinster), Leah Tarpey (Leinster).