Ireland make three changes ahead of WXV clash with Colombia

Outhalf Danah O’Brien drops to the bench while Ulster’s Fiona Tuite is in line for a debut

Scott Bemand has made three changes to the Ireland side that opened their WXV campaign with a comfortable victory over Kazakhstan ahead of the round two clash with Colombia on Saturday.

Both halfbacks have been rotated, with Nicole Fowley and Aoibheann Reilly both starting in place of Dannah O’Brien and Molly Scuffil-McCabe respectively. The other new face comes in the secondrow where Eimear Corri replaces Dorothy Wall.

In the backline, Beibhinn Parsons and Natasja Behan swap wings as they once again make up the backthree alongside Meabh Deely. Eve Higgins and Aoife Dalton line out in the centres once more.

Up front, the frontrow of Linda Djougang, Neve Jones and Christy Haney is unchanged, with Sam Monaghan partnering Corri in the secondrow. Grace Moore, Edel McMahon and Brittany Hogan make up the backrow trio.

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Wall, Scuffil-McCabe and O’Brien, the three players rotated out, all start on the bench. Maeve Óg O’Leary drops out of the matchday 23 having started last week on the bench; Ulster’s Fiona Tuite replaces her and is in line for a Test debut. . Niamh O’Dowd gets the nod as the backup loosehead in place of Sadhbh McGrath.

“Whilst it was great to get the performance we did last week, we are looking to further grow our playing identity,” said Bemand on his selection. “We have had another competitive training week this week. It is another opportunity to see a couple of new faces take to the pitch.

”We want to keep raising performance standards, so we become a really tough team to play. We want to enjoy our rugby and do our family and friends proud and it was great to see some of them join us in Dubai to support the team.”

Ireland’s clash with Colombia starts at 2pm Irish time and can be streamed live on RugbyPassTV.

IRELAND: Méabh Deely; Béibhinn Parsons, Eve Higgins, Aoife Dalton, Natasja Behan; Nicole Fowley, Aoibheann Riley; Linda Djougang, Neve Jones, Christy Haney; Eimear Corri, Sam Monaghan (co-capt); Grace Moore, Edel McMahon (co-capt), Brittany Hogan.

Replacements: Sarah Delaney, Niamh O’Dowd, Megan Collis, Fiona Tuite, Dorothy Wall, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Dannah O’Brien, Leah Tarpey.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist