Serena Sterling, the up and coming prop from Ulster, has pulled out due to illness. Her place on the bench goes to Munster and Shannon veteran, Rosemary Brown. Although she hasn t previously played for Ireland, Brown has been one of the core players in the Munster squad for the past five years, with 29 caps for the three-time Interprovincial champs.
Brown joins three other uncapped players making the 22 for the match. They are Manuella McCarthy and Tania Rosser, both from Blackrock, and Caroline Mahon from UL-Bohemians. The remaining 18 players still have a total of 305 Test caps between them. The team will be captained by Suzanne Fleming (Cooke & Ulster) and Fiona Steed (Shannon & Munster) will be vice-captain.
The match kicks off at 2:30pm on Sunday 11 January at Thomond Park.
Team Ireland to play England Academy;
S J Belton (UL-Bohs), L Cantwell (ULBohs), S Fleming (Cooke) ( c ), N Ni Chaidhain (Galwegians), N Milne (Worcester) , J O Sullivan (Nottingham), Louise Beamish (UL-Bohs), J Neville (Shannon), F Steed (Shannon), R Boyd (Cooke), A M McAllister (Shannon), R Foley (Shannon), G McAllister (Cooke), J Lonergan (Shannon), F Coghlan (UL-Bohs)
Reserves: Serena Stirling - Cooke, Manuella McCarthy - Blackrock, Jen Leacy - Blackrock, Caroline Mahon - UL-Bohs, Tania Rosser - Blackrock, Patrique Kelly - UL-Bohs, Amanda Greensmith - Shannon. (pending fitness test).