Women's Six Nations 2021: Ireland unchanged for France game


Ireland scrum-half Kathryn Dane gets the ball away from an ruck in last weekend's 45-0 win over Wales in Cardiff
Scrum-half Kathryn Dane remains the sole Ulster starter after helping the Irish hammer Wales 45-0 in Cardiff last weekend
Venue: Energia Park, Dublin Date: Saturday, 17 April Kick-off: 14:15 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website

Ireland coach Adam Griggs has kept faith with the team that started in the 45-0 win over Wales for Saturday’s Six Nations game against France in Dublin.

The only changes to the match day squad for the Donnybrook contest see Emma Hooban and uncapped Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe drafted into the replacements.

Hooker Hooban replaces Ulster’s Neve Jones on the Ireland bench with Murphy Crowe taking over from Enya Breen.

Scrum-half Kathryn Dane is the sole Ulster starter in the team.

The replacements bench also includes another Ulster player Brittany Hogan.

There had been some concerns over the game after it was announced that France would be added to Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine list from Thursday but the IRFU said on Wednesday that the match would go ahead.

Whoever wins the contest will go on to face England on 24 April in the final of the re-structured championship, which sees all six nations playing only three games under the condensed format.

France also earned a thumping 53-0 win over Wales in their opening Pool B game two weeks ago.

Murphy Crowe has impressed in her outings for the Ireland Sevens team in recent seasons – having scored 98 tries in 131 World Series matches – while Hooban is in line to earn her eighth cap in the Energia Park contest.

Ireland coach Griggs says the France game will be a “step up in terms of intensity and physicality” from the dominant win in Wales.

“We have to stay focused on improving our own game with each performance so to play the fourth-ranked team in the world will give us a great indication of where we are currently at,” added the Ireland coach.

Ireland: Eimear Considine (Munster); Laura Delany (Sale Sharks), Eve Higgins (Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Leinster), Beibhinn Parsons (Connacht); Hannah Tyrrell (Leinster), Kathryn Dane (Ulster); Lindsay Peat (Leinster), Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps), Linda Djougang (Leinster); Aoife McDermott (Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Connacht); Dorothy Wall (Munster), Claire Molloy (Wasps), Ciara Griffin capt (Munster).

Replacements: Emma Hooban (Leinster), Katie O’Dwyer (Leinster), Laura Feely (Connacht), Brittany Hogan (Ulster), Hannah O’Connor (Leinster), Emily Lane (Munster), Stacey Flood (Leinster), Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Munster).

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