DONEGAL girls Larissa Muldoon and Nora Stapleton will resume their half-back partnership on Friday night when the Irish women take on France in the concluding 2014 Women’s RBS 6Nations game.
There will be no repeat of the Grand Slam glory of last year with France already having the Championship wrapped up – but the Irish girls are aiming to derail the French hopes of a Grand Slam when they meet at the Stade du Hameau in Pau.
Ballybofey native Muldoon came off the bench last weekend in the facile 39-0 win over Italy at Aviva Stadium, but Philip Doyle, the Ireland Women’s Head Coach has restored the scrum-half to the starting line-up this week for what will be her 20th cap.
Muldoon scored a try in the recent 17-10 defeat by England and will be aiming to end the campaign on a high note in France.
Fahan’s Stapleton retains her spot at fly-half. Stapleton kicked a converstion after Jenny Murphy’s late try on Saturday in the big win over the Italians.
Claire Molloy, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Heather O’Brien and Murphy all got over for tries.
Muldoon’s inclusion is one of three personnel changes to the side with Murphy and Ailis Egan also included from the off this time around.
France are unbeaten and have an unassailable points difference of +137 but Ireland can deny them the grand slam with a victory.
“The team put in a fine performance against Italy in their first ever game at the Aviva Stadium but we are under no illusions as to the challenge ahead of us,” Doyle said.
“France are the form team of the Championship and beat England reasonably comfortably in Round 1. We will need to match their physicality and take our chances when they come.”
IRELAND WOMEN v France Women – RBS 6 Nations Championship
Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise RFC/UCC/Connacht), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exiles); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie –Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht) 30