Belfast Telegraph

Ulster duo named in Ireland line-up for Women's Rugby World Cup opener

Two Ulster players have been named in the Ireland team to play Australia in their Women's Rugby World Cup opener.

Head Coach Tom Tierney has named both Cooke star Ashleigh Baxter and Donegal half-back Larissa Muldoon in his line-up to play in the UCD Bowl on Wednesday evening (7pm).

Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Ailis Egan make up in the front row while the second-row is comprised of Marie-Louise Reilly and Paula Fitzpatrick. The back-row sees Baxter at 6, Heather O'Brien at Number 8 and Claire Molloy at 7.

Muldoon partners out-half Nora Stapleton at half-back, with Sene Naoupu and Jenny Murphy forming the centre partnership. Alison Miller and Eimear Considine line out on the wings, with Hannah Tyrrell at full-back.

Claire Molloy will captain the side after regular skipper Niamh Briggs had to withdraw from the tournament with an Anchilles injury.

On the selection, coach Tierney said; "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 team to face Australia

15. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

14. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)

13. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

12. Sene Naoupu (Harlequins FC)

11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere RFC/Connacht)

10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

9. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union RFC/Ulster)

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)

2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)

3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

4. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College RFC/Leinster)

5. Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

6. Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke RFC/Ulster)

7. Claire Molloy (Bristol RFC/Connacht) Captain

8. Heather O'Brien (Highfield RFC/Munster)

Replacements:

16. Leah Lyons (Highfield RFC/Munster)

17. Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)

18. Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)

19. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster)

20. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)

21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)

22. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)

23. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians RFC/Connacht)

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