Ireland will welcome the United States of America to the RDS Arena on Friday night for the first of their two 2021 Autumn Internationals.
The match in Dublin will be the team’s first game since they missed out on qualification for next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The matches against the USA and Japan will serve as the final ones under current Head Coach Adam Griggs, who will leave his post and be replaced by Greg McWilliams.
On top of this, the pictures come at a time of friction between the players and those who run the show in the IRFU.
Director of Women’s and Sevens Rugby for the union, Anthony Eddy had said earlier in the week that the organisation was not neglecting the women’s game and does not believe that the national team will be left behind as others take steps forward.
He also appeared to lay the blame for Ireland’s failed qualification bid at the players’ feet.
However, players, both past and present, have come out against Eddy and forced an apology from the Director, with captain Ciara Griffin noting that he had apologised in case anyone took offence.
On a positive note, the team are united and have their eyes set on bouncing back from their disappointing losses in Parma.
Manager Adam Griggs has shown his excitement in facing the star-studded USA team:
“We have had two good weeks of preparation for the Autumn Tests and the group are excited to get back out on the pitch and put that hard work into action.
“A first Test at the RDS under Friday night lights will be a special occasion and we’re looking forward to having family, friends, and our supporters back in the stands to get behind us.”
Ireland: 15. Lauren Delany, 14. Laura Sheehan, 13. Eimear Considine, 12. Sene Naoupu, 11. Beibhinn Parsons, 10. Stacey Flood, 9. Ailsa Hughes; 1. Lindsay Peat, 2. Cliodhna Moloney, 3. Leah Lyons, 4. Nichola Fryday, 5. Sam Monaghan, 6. Ciara Griffin (c), 7. Edel McMahon, 8. Anna Caplice
Replacements: 16. Neve Jones, 17. Katie O’Dwyer, 18. Linda Djougang, 19. Hannah O’Connor, 20. Maeve Óg O’Leary, 21. Kathryn Dane, 22. Eve Higgins, 23. Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
USA: 15. Kayla Canett, 14. Tess Feury, 13. Amy Talei Bonte, 12. Katana Howard, 11. Bulou Mataitoga, 10. Megan Foster, 9. Carly Waters; 1. Catherine Benson, 2. Saher Hamdam, 3. Hope Rogers, 4. Kristine Sommer, 5. Alycia Washington, 6. Rachel Ehrecke, 7. Rachel Johnson, 8. Kate Zackary.
Replacements: 16. Kathryn Treder, 17. Maya Learned, 18. Nick James, 19. Hallie Taufoou, 20. Elizabeth Cairns, 21. Olivia Ortiz, 22. McKenzie Hawkins, 23. Sarah Levy.
Where To Watch
The match will kick-off at 7:15 pm with live coverage of the game available on the RTÉ Player.