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

Ireland flanker Ashleigh Baxter will start against Australia at UCD
Ireland flanker Ashleigh Baxter will start against Australia at UCD
Women's Rugby World Cup
Venues: Dublin and Belfast Dates: 9-26 August
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Women's Rugby World Cup hosts Ireland have included Ashleigh Baxter and Eimear Considine in their side to face Australia in Dublin on Wednesday.

Back-row Baxter and wing Considine are among four changes to the team which was beaten by England in their final Six Nations game in March.

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

Ireland, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2014, also play Japan and France in Group C.

Positional switches see Paula Fitzpatrick move from the back row to lock while Hanna Tyrrell is at full-back after starting on the wing against England.

Briggs missing

Clair Molloy will captain the Irish team following the withdrawal of Niamh Briggs because of an Achilles injury.

"The squad are very excited to get the tournament under way," said Ireland head coach Tom Tierney.

"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 on Wednesday evening, which will be an added benefit for us."

Ireland: H Tyrell; E Considine, J Murphy, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Stapleton, L Muldoon; L Peat, C Moloney, A Egan, P Fitzpatrick, ML Reilly, A Baxter, C Molloy, H O'Brien.

Replacements: L Lyons, R O'Reilly, C O'Connor, S Spence, C Griffin, N Cronin, K Fitzhenry, M Coyne.

Ireland's Pool C fixtures
Wednesday, 9 AugustAustralia19:00 BST
Sunday, 13 AugustJapan17:15
Thursday, 17 AugustFrance19:45
All matches at UCD Bowl, Dublin

Commentary on Ireland's Pool matches will be on 5 Live Extra and the BBC Sport website

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