Nicole Fowley to make debut for Ireland Women against England
Ireland coach Tom Tierney without some experienced players for opening November game
Nicole Fowley will make her debut at centre for Ireland Women in Sunday’s November International against England at UCD. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Galwegians’ Nicole Fowley will make her debut as the Ireland Women’s team get their November international series underway with a game against England at UCD Bowl on Sunday (2.0pm).
Fowley has been named at outside centre by head coach Tom Tierney and will form a new midfield combination with Sene Naoupu.
In the frontrow, loosehead prop Lindsay Peat will make her first start for Ireland, winning her fifth cap in the process.
Tierney is without some of his more experienced players this weekend due to injuries, with captain Niamh Briggs sidelined as she continues to rehab an injured hamstring injury she picked up in a recent club. St Mary’s backrow Paula Fitzpatrick will captain the side in Briggs’s absence.
Speaking about Ireland’s first game in the November series, Tierney said;
“This weekend marks the first game of what is arguably going to be the biggest season in the history of Ireland’s Women’s Rugby,” said Tierney.
“The Women’s Rugby World Cup is now less than nine months away, and while there a lot of rugby to be played between now and then, the players are very eager to run out at UCD this Sunday and get things underway in our first ever November Series.
“We’re without some of our more experienced players this weekend, but this gives other members of the squad the opportunity to develop their game and get some much needed experience themselves.
“Starting this weekend, we’ll play three games in three weeks against some very competitive opposition and this is important as we prepare for the pool games of the World Cup in UCD.”
Ireland Women face Canada on Saturday 19th and New Zealand on the 27th.
IRELAND WOMEN (v England Women, UCD Bowl, Sunday, 2.0): Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht); Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/Connacht), Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Maire-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s/Leinster); Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s/ Leinster) capt.
Replacements: Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster), Katie Norris (Blackrock College/Leinster), Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians/Munster), Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster), Jackie Shiels (Old Belvedere/Leinster).