Ireland XV Vs Japan

Ireland XV to face Japan

I have decided to don the selector hat and try and select the XV to face Japan at 5.15pm this Sunday in the UCD Bowl. Looking at the impact of the bench last Wednesday I think it is fair to say both Sophie Spence and Ciara Griffin will come into the team in the pack.

In the backs, there is room to use some of the players who were not used last week. Players like Claire Mc Laughlin and Louise Galvin could come into the back line to try and add extra spark to the attack.

Given that France put 72 points on Japan , one feels that Ireland should be able to do some similar tomorrow. Yes Ireland struggled to deal with the weight of expectation on some occasions on Wednesday but by tomorrow they should know what to expect.

The pressure of tomorrow will be different to what it was like on Wednesday, now that they are off and running with one win under the belt they will be expected by the crowd, media and above all themselves to kick on and find another gear.

Japan played Ireland twice in the build up to World Cup and ran them very close both times but after the tight win against Australia, Claire Molloy and her troops will know they will need to show more to put down a marker at this home World Cup.

Tom Tierney has said his side will improve as the competition goes on , the time is upon us to show that fact. This is a home World Cup and Ireland have a opportunity against Japan to show all challengers that they will not lie down too easily….

Here is the XV I would select –

15 Mairead Coyne

14 Hannah Tyrell

13 Claire Mc Laughlin

12 Katie Fitzhenry

11 Louise Galvin

10 Nora Stapleton

9 Nicole Cronin

8 Paula Fitzpatrick

7 Claire Molloy

6 Ciara Griffin

5 Marie Louise Reilly

4 Sophie Spence

3 Ailish Egan

2 Cliona Maloney

1 Lindsey Peat

16 Leah Lyons

17 Ciara O Connor

18 Ruth O Reilly

19 Ciara Cooney

20 Heather O Brien

21 Larissa Muldoon

22 Sene Naoupu

23 Eimear Considine 

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