Team Unchanged To Face France
5th February 2008 By Munster Rugby
Ireland coach John O’Sullivan has named an unchanged team to travel to Paris this weekend.
There are no changes to the 22 from the side who won their opening championship game against Italy last Friday, as Ireland seek to beat France for the first time in their history.
After a strong second half in Dublin against a tough Italian outfit, where Ireland scored 19 unanswered points, confidence will be high in the camp, though France are always at their strongest when playing at home.
They are also coming off the back of a convincing 43-15 win over Scotland last week and they won’t forget how they were pushed all the way by Ireland in 2007 only emerging 13-11 winners after a tight scrap in Dublin.
O’Sullivan said his side are aware of the quality that France have in their squad. "We know how good a team France are and that it will be very tough for us to get a result. France especially at home are a very formidable outfit, and in reality last year was the closest any Irish team has come to beating them."
He added that Ireland were still confident of their ability to cause an upset. "We have a squad of players whose work ethic is second to none and they are improving all the time and as a consequence we have a very good team who are capable of going to France and getting a win."
Irish captain Sarah Jane Belton said travelling to France and targeting a win is one of Ireland’s priorities this season. "We need to take France this year. We came close last season but lost by a try in injury-time," she said. "It’s time to do it now; we’ve talked about it long enough. We have the team, the backroom staff; everything has gone very well preparation-wise so I think we’re ready to do that."
Ireland will have no uncapped players in their match 22, with O’Sullivan having used his entire bench against Italy and giving first time run-outs to Gillian Bourke, Kate O’Loughlin, Louise Austin, Niamh Briggs and Amy Davis.
In other games this weekend England will look to build on their 55-0 hammering over Wales when they travel to play Italy, while Scotland visit Taff’s Well looking for their first win.
Ireland Women’s Squad
(v France, 2008 RBS Women’s 6 Nations, Sunday February 10, St Gratien, Paris. 3pm)
Sarahjane Belton (capt); Lynne Cantwell, Patrique Kelly, Shannon Houston, Grace Davitt; Joanne O’Sullivan, Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Jess Limbert, Marie Barrett, Caroline Mahon, Germaine Healy, Eimear O’Sullivan, Sinead Ryan, Orla Brennan.
Replacements: Gillian Bourke, Yvonne Nolan, Kate O’Loughlin, Louise Austin, Louise Beamish, Niamh Briggs, Amy Davis.