An uncapped Wexford woman will be handed her debut in Japan on Saturday…
Natasja Behan, who is from Kilanerin in North Wexford, is named on the team to start for the Irish team in the backline.
The game takes place in Ecopa Stadium in Fukuroi City and it’s part of their Summer tour.
Coach Greg McWilliams has placed his trust in the Wexford woman and six other uncapped players. Behan, alongside Deely and Dalton in the backs, are the only uncapped players to start the game.
Speaking to IrishRugby, coach Greg McWilliams stated that:
“It is a hugely exciting time for everyone involved in the programme as we prepare to face Japan in these two Summer Tests and for us, it’s all about hard work, development and opportunity. With that in mind, it is exciting to include a number of young players this weekend and we are all looking forward to seeing them pull on the green jersey having worked so hard over the last couple of months.”
“Saturday marks another important staging post on our journey as a group and we will come up against a really strong Japan side who are finalising their preparations for the Rugby World Cup. We will learn and grow through this experience and that is invaluable for us,” he said.
Team and Replacements:
15. Méabh Deely (Blackrock College RFC/Connacht)*
14. Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)*
13. Aoife Dalton (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)*
12. Enya Breen (TBC/Munster)(14)
11. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC/Munster)(10)
10. Dannah O’Brien (Tullow RFC/Leinster)*
9. Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(14)
1. Linda Djougang (TBC/Leinster)(22)
2. Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury/Ulster)(11)
3. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)(10)
4. Nichola Fryday (Exeter Chiefs/Connacht)(27)(capt)
5. Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury/IQ Rugby)(9)
6. Dorothy Wall (Blackrock College RFC/Munster)(15)
7. Edel McMahon (Exeter Chiefs/IQ Rugby)(19)
8. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(12)
16. Emma Hooban (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(11)
17. Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(5)
18. Christy Haney (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)(4)
19. Taryn Schultzer (Saracens/Ulster)*
20. Grace Moore (Saracens/IQ Rugby)(3)
21. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)(20)
22. Leah Tarpey (Tullamore RFC/Leinster)*
23. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Railway Union RFC/Leinster)
*Denotes uncapped player
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on Irish television broadcaster, TG4, from 10.40am Irish time, with the game underway at 11am.
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