on Wednesday night in Thomond Park. UL-Bohemians out-half Sarahjane Belton will captain the side and she will be joined by Munster colleagues Patrique Kelly, Jean Lonergan Joy Neville and Marie Barrett, with Barrett set to win her first cap. The starting line-up also includes UL Bohs forwards Caroline Mahon and Fiona Coughlan, but both of those players are part of the Leinster squad. There are another five Munster players on an extended bench.
There are no other major surprises in the starting line-up, although former Munster star Lynne Cantwell moves from the wing to outside centre to partner Patrique Kelly with Suzanne Fleming making the switch to the left wing.
It is the first time Ireland have ever played the USA- a team they will also face at the Women s World Cup later this year. The match is part of the USA s tour to Europe. They have beaten Scotland 13-6 and they will also play England A, as they prepare for the World Cup.
The one off international will prove invaluable preparation for Ireland s Six Nations campaign, and also give them a good indication as to the competition they ll encounter next September in Edmonton. Ireland have named ten substitutes which they can choose from, after agreeing an extended bench with the USA management.
Irish coach Philip Doyle said that he was expecting a hugely physical challenge from the Americans. They have beaten Scotland already on this tour and the games I have seen them play have all been very tough and physical. We ve had five training weekends together now in a row and this game for us is really about the performance. We have been training well and are using this game to see how the girls react to the things we have been doing at those sessions.
Ireland team to play the USA, Wednesday January 25, Thomond Park, 7pm KO.
Ireland: Joanne O Sullivan (Lichfield), Nuala Ni Chaidhan (Galwegians), Lynne Cantwell (Trojans), Patrique Kelly (UL Bohemians), Suzanne Fleming(Cooke), SarahJane Belton (c) (UL Bohemians), Tania Rosser(Blackrock), Fiona Coughlan (vc) (UL Bohemians), Jean Lonergan(Shannon),Marie Barrett (Highfield), Caroline Mahon (UL-Bohemians), Germaine Healy (Blackrock), Orla Brennan (Blackrock), Rachel Boyd (Cooke), Joy Neville (Shannon)
Amanda Greensmith (Shannon), Louise Beamish (UL Bohemian), Grace Davitt (Blackrock), Jeannette Feighery (UL Bohemian), Laura Guest (Clonakilty), Gillian McAlister (Cooke), Yvonne Nolan (Blackrock), Kate O Loughlin (Clonmel), Christine Robb (Armagh), Sinead Ryan (Navan)