'We'll have to go toe-to-toe with France'
Surely a Kiwi will allow them to do their thing. They both tackle like lunatics while Molloy has an eye for the prairie.
Neville is a bit special. At a break in play against Scotland the ball trickled towards her, she casually flicked it up with her toe, following it high into the sky before catching one-handed and giving it to scrumhalf Larissa Muldoon. From that scrum, she had it tucked under her arm welcoming the latest collision.
However, in Safi N’Diaye she faces a significantly bigger opposite number.
In fact, they all do.
The most obvious gems in the Irish side are Cantwell and Jenny Murphy; Ying and yang.
If outhalf Nora Stapleton is seeking to unlock the French defence with subtlety, she will skip wide to Cantwell, almost everything creative revolves around her wristy offloads. If a more uncompromising option is required, the Murphy crash ball should deliver. Think Jamie Roberts with frizzy long hair. Out the back Niamh Briggs must kick her goals when not running freely.
Also, Cantwell will not have the time or space she enjoyed against Scotland as France’s line speed will be quicker.
Like their male counterparts, the French can’t be underrated just because they lost to Italy. Atrocious weather played a significant role in that 13-12 defeat. The return of regular fly-half Aurelie Bailon, although the Montpelier player is held in reserve, could matter late on but from the start Sandrine Agricole will direct matters as she did in the 30-20 defeat of England at Twickenham.
That and Les Bleus 32-0 thrashing of Wales is fore-warning, but Ireland have the tools to prevail. A victory that would leave them on the precipice of history.
IRELAND:N Briggs (Munster); A Baxter (Ulster), L Cantwell (Exiles), J Murphy (Leinster), A Miller (Connacht); N Stapleton (Leinster), L Muldoon (Exiles); F Coghlan (Leinster, capt), G Bourke (Munster), A Egan (Leinster); S Spence (Exiles), M L Reilly (Leinster); S Fleming (Munster), C Molloy (Exiles), J Neville (Munster). Replacements: S-L Kennedy (Ulster), F Hayes (Munster), L Day (Exiles), L Dargan (Exiles), L Guest (Munster), A Davis (Ulster), G Davitt (Ulster), N Kavanagh (Munster).
FRANCE: C Ladagnous; J Billes, M Mayans, L Godiveau, E Guiglion; S Agricole, M-A Yahe (capt); H Ezanno, G Mignot, E Portaries; S Rabier, D Nadai Marine; C Tombe Diallo, L Grand, S N’diaye. Replacements: L Salles, A Koïta, C Chobet, L Corson, M Andre, J Tremouliere, A Bailon, J Le Pesq.
Referee: N Inwood (New Zealand).