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Ireland revert to New Zealand line-up for semi-final

12 August 2014

  • Ireland keep faith with Kiwi-conquering side
  • Semi-final takes place on Wednesday at Stade Jean-Bouin (kick-off 5pm BST)
Ireland Women scrum half Tania Rosser

Photo: Getty Images

Ireland Head Coach Philip Doyle has named the same starting XV that defeated New Zealand in round 2 of the pool stages for his side's Women's Rugby World Cup semi-final showdown against England.

The reversal means Ireland's match-day squad includes 10 changes from the team that overcame Kazakhstan (40-5) in their final pool game.

Niamh Briggs – Ireland's top scorer in the tournament with 25 points – returns at full back with wings Ashleigh Baxter and Alison Miller completing the back three.

Tania Rosser moves back to scrum half following her outing at 10 against Kazakhstan while Nora Stapleton returns at fly half. 

Captain Fiona Coghlan joins with Ailis Egan and hooker Gillian Bourke in a strong front row, and second row partners Sophie Spence and Marie Louise Reilly reunite for their third start of the tournament together.

The final two changes come in the back row, where Claire Molloy features at open side and Heather O'Brien returns at No. 8 following her recovery from a finger injury.    

Ireland side to face England

15 Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster)
14 Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
13 Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile)
12 Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster)
11 Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)
10 Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
9 Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster)

1 Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (captain)
2 Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster)
3 Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
4 Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
5 Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
6 Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
7 Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht)
8 Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster)


16 Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
17 Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
18 Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster)
19 Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster)
20 Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile)
21 Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
22 Hannah Casey (Saracens/Exile)