Ireland make four changes for crunch Italy World Cup qualifier

Laura Feely, Sam Monaghan, Edel McMahon and Eve Higgins come into side

Ireland are looking to bounce back from their 8-7 defeat to Spain. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Ireland are looking to bounce back from their 8-7 defeat to Spain. Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

 

RWC 2021 Europe qualifier: Italy v Ireland, Sunday September 19th, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma (kick-off 2pm, live on RTÉ Player, World Rugby YouTube and rugbyworldcup.com/2021).

Ireland coach Adam Griggs has named his side to face Italy in Sunday’s crunch 2021 World Cup qualifier in Parma.

There are four changes to the starting XV which were beaten 8-7 by Spain on Monday, with with Laura Feely, Sam Monaghan, Edel McMahon and Eve Higgins coming into the side.

Higgins joins Sene Naoupu in midfield with the backline otherwise unchanged. Kathryn Dane and Stacey Floor retain their positions in the half backs with Eimear Considine, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Beibhinn Parsons in the back three.

Feely is named in the frontrow alongside Linda Djougang and Cliodhna Moloney, with Monaghan and Nichola Fryday in the engineroom. McMahon, Dorothy Wall and captain Ciara Griffin form the backrow.

Ahead of Sunday’s crunch fixture, Griggs said: “After a difficult result last weekend, we have collectively put the head down this week, conducted honest reviews and identified the areas we need to improve. We have implemented and executed those improvements in training and that gives us confidence going into Sunday.

“Italy will present a challenge, particularly with a home crowd behind them, but we are familiar with their threats and have left no stone unturned in our preparations for this game.”

Ireland: Eimear Considine; Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Sene Naoupu, Beibhinn Parsons; Stacey Flood, Kathryn Dane; Laura Feely, Cliodhna Moloney, Linda Djougang; Nichola Fryday, Sam Monaghan; Dorothy Wall, Edel McMahon, Ciara Griffin. Replacements: Neve Jones, Lindsay Peat, Leah Lyons, Brittany Hogan, Claire Molloy, Emily Lane, Enya Breen, Lauren Delany.

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