Ashleigh Baxter and Gillian Bourke get call for England clash

Ireland coach Philip Doyle makes two changes for Twickenham encounter

Ashleigh Baxter will start on the right wing against England in Saturday evening’s Six Nations clash at Twickenham. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ashleigh Baxter will start on the right wing against England in Saturday evening’s Six Nations clash at Twickenham. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho


Ireland women’s head coach Philip Doyle has made two changes to the side that earned a hard fought victory against Wales last time out for Saturday evening’s Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham (6.20pm).

Belfast Harlequins’ Ashleigh Baxter comes in on the right wing for Hannah Casey and UL Bohemians’ Gillian Bourke replaces Stacey-Lea Kennedy at hooker.

Both Casey and Kennedy will start from the bench, while the only other change to the matchday 23 sees Highfield’s Laura Guest come into the replacements in place of Paula Fitzpatrick.

Niamh Briggs and Larissa Muldoon who came into the side after the big opening round victory over Scotland are retained at fullback and scrumhalf respectively.

“The team showed great character to secure the win against Wales but they are in for a huge test this weekend facing England at Twickenham,” said Doyle as he plots the defence of the Grand Slam title. “ England will be smarting from last year’s defeat and are a quality side who have shown their power and skill already in this Championship.”

IRELAND WOMEN (v England, Twickenham, Saturday, 6.20pm): Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond /Exile), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/UCC/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Heather O’ Brien (Highfield/Munster).

Stacey-Lea Kennedy (Cooke/Ulster), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), Kerrie -Ann Craddock (Saracens/Exile), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Amy Davis (Blackrock /Ulster), Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exiles), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Jackie Shiels (Richmond/Exile).

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