Hosts Ireland name team for Women's World Cup opener against Australia

Ireland are hosting this year's Women's Rugby World Cup
Ireland are hosting this year's Women's Rugby World Cup

Women's Rugby World Cup hosts Ireland have named their side for the opening Women's Rugby World Cup clash against Australia in Dublin on Wednesday.

Back-row Ashleigh Baxter and wing Eimear Considine are among four changes made to the side team which was defeated by England in their final Six Nations game at Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin in March.

Cliodhna Moloney comes in at hooker and O'Brien starts at number eight.

Larissa Muldoon will partner outhalf Nora Stapleton at halfback, with Sene Naoupu and Jenny Murphy forming the centre partnership.

Head Coach Tom Tierney is confident the home advantage will help his side in the tournament opener.

“The squad are very excited to get the tournament underway. They have had excellent preparation and things have really come together since arriving into UCD on Saturday afternoon and everyone has been extremely focused on their role and the challenge ahead.

“The Australians are a good team and we will have to be very good for the opening game. The players are all very clear on the challenges that the Wallaroos pose.

“However this is a home World Cup and we’re confident that the crowd will get behind us tomorrow evening which will be an added benefit for us and we’re all looking forward to getting the tournament underway.”

Ireland: Hannah Tyrrell; Eimear Considine, Jenny Murphy, Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller; Nora Stapleton, Larissa Muldoon; Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney, Ailis Egan; Paula Fitzpatrick, Marie-Louise Reilly; Ashleigh Baxter, Claire Molloy (Capt), Heather O’Brien.

Replacements: Leah Lyons, Ruth O’Reilly, Ciara O’Connor, Sophie Spence, Ciara Griffin, Nicole Cronin, Katie Fitzhenry, Mairead Coyne.

Ireland Women’s Rugby World Cup Fixtures - Pool C
Ireland v Australia - Wednesday 9th August, 7pm UCD Bowl
Ireland v Japan - Sunday 13th August, 5.15pm, UCD Bowl
France v Ireland - Thursday 17th August, 7.45pm, UCD Bowl