Three Irish changes for visit to Pau

Jenny Murphy, Larissa Muldoon and Ailis Egan returned to starting XV by Philip Doyle

Assistant Ireland coach Fergal Campion and Jenny Murphy during a kicking practice. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Assistant Ireland coach Fergal Campion and Jenny Murphy during a kicking practice. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 01:00

With Jenny Murphy, Larissa Muldoon and Ailis Egan returned to the starting XV, Ireland coach Philip Doyle has picked the strongest possible side to face France in the final match of the women’s Six Nations at Stade du Hameau in Pau tomorrow evening (live on RTÉ Two, kick-off 5.45pm).

Grace Davitt, Amy Davis and Stacey-Lea Kennedy make way from the team that beat Italy 39-0 last Saturday.

“Those decisions came down to the need for physicality in our pack and Jenny’s defence,” Doyle explained. “Grace was brilliant against Italy but Jenny brings that extra power and we are going to need that considering what will be coming down the centre of the pitch.”

Ireland need to win by 19 points, while also registering five tries and conceding none, to deny Grand Slam chasing France the championship title.

The only points France have conceded in their 2014 campaign were in their 18-6 victory over England and they have yet to concede a try.

IRELAND (v France): N Briggs (UL Bohemians); A Baxter (Belfast Harlequins), L Cantwell (Richmond), J Murphy (Old Belvedere), A Miller (Portlaoise RFC/UCC); N Stapleton (Old Belvedere), L Muldoon (Bristol/Exiles); F Coghlan (UL Bohemians), G Bourke (UL Bohemians), A Egan (Old Belvedere); S Spence (Old Belvedere), M-L Reilly (Old Belvedere); S Fleming (Tralee), C Molloy (Bristol) , H O’Brien (Highfield).

Replacements: S-L Kennedy (Cooke), F Hayes (UL Bohemians), K-A Craddock (Saracens), P Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s), A Davis (Blackrock), H Casey (Saracens), G Davitt (Cooke), J Shiels (Richmond).

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