Women's Six Nations 2021: Ireland unchanged for France game

Ireland scrum-half Kathryn Dane gets the ball away from an ruck in last weekend's 45-0 win over Wales in Cardiff
Scrum-half Kathryn Dane remains the sole Ulster starter after helping the Irish hammer Wales 45-0 in Cardiff last weekend
2021 Women's Six Nations: Ireland v France
Venue: Energia Park, Dublin Date: Saturday, 17 April Kick-off: 14:15 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website

Ireland coach Adam Griggs has kept faith with the team that started in the 45-0 win over Wales for Saturday's Six Nations game against France in Dublin.

The only changes to the match day squad for the Donnybrook contest see Emma Hooban and uncapped Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe drafted into the replacements.

Griggs said: "France are fourth in the world, it's exciting to see where we're at on our journey and how we match up".

"A good start last week has given us confidence that we can cause an upset."

There had been some concerns over the game after it was announced that France would be added to Ireland's mandatory hotel quarantine list from Thursday but the IRFU said on Wednesday that the match would go ahead.

Whoever wins the contest will go on to face England on 24 April in the final of the re-structured championship, which sees all six nations playing only three games under the condensed format.

France also earned a thumping 53-0 win over Wales in their opening Pool B game two weeks ago.

Caroline Boujard scored a first-half hat-trick and Griggs identified her as one of Ireland's main threats, while acknowledging the breakdown is where the game will be won and lost.

"(Pauline) Bourdon at nine and (Caroline) Boujard on the wing are two players we have to make sure we keep a lid on early on.

"We have got to target slowing down their ball because if they get front foot ball they can become really dangerous in attack.

"Around that breakdown we must make sure we can disrupt it early on and not give them that platform to use the ball out wide.

"In terms of our attack, we must be patient and earn the right to play.

"We overplayed it a few times last week, this week is a different test so must build that platform first before we look to expose them out wide if we can."

Hooker Hooban replaces Ulster's Neve Jones on the Ireland bench with Murphy Crowe taking over from Enya Breen.

Murphy Crowe has impressed in her outings for the Ireland Sevens team in recent seasons - having scored 98 tries in 131 World Series matches - while Hooban is in line to earn her eighth cap in the Energia Park contest.

On selecting an unchanged team, Griggs said: "We talked about getting some cohesion with the starting side so rewarding for the good start they made against Wales was key".

Ireland: Eimear Considine (Munster); Laura Delany (Sale Sharks), Eve Higgins (Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Leinster), Beibhinn Parsons (Connacht); Hannah Tyrrell (Leinster), Kathryn Dane (Ulster); Lindsay Peat (Leinster), Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps), Linda Djougang (Leinster); Aoife McDermott (Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Connacht); Dorothy Wall (Munster), Claire Molloy (Wasps), Ciara Griffin capt (Munster).

Replacements: Emma Hooban (Leinster), Katie O'Dwyer (Leinster), Laura Feely (Connacht), Brittany Hogan (Ulster), Hannah O'Connor (Leinster), Emily Lane (Munster), Stacey Flood (Leinster), Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Munster).

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer

Top Stories

Also in NI Sport