Following her heroic two try salvo against Japan, Tallaght native Paula Fitzpatrick deservedly starts for Ireland tonight in their winner takes all World Cup clash with France.
The stakes couldn’t be any higher, Ireland have to win to advance to the semi-finals, and their opponents have been in excellent form so far running up big scores in their pool games with Australia and Japan.
Local legend Paula Fitzpatrick came off the bench on Sunday evening to help her country pull off a hard fought 24-14 victory against Japan to set up tonights epic showdown.
Speaking yesterday ahead of tonights match head coach Tom Tierney said:
“We’ve had lots of tough games against France over the years and we know tomorrow evening is going to be no different.
“They have looked really good in their opening two games of the tournament and they’ll be coming into this game full of confidence.
“It’s a cup final tomorrow night, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs, so we want the players to go out there and give it everything.
“It won’t be easy, but with the crowd behind them, they have the ability to claim a place in the final four.”
Paula is one of six changes to the team which started against Japan with coach Tierney optioning to put his faith in the 15 who started against Australia in the opening pool game.
Ireland beat the French in the Six Nations back in February and another sold out Belfield Bowl will be roaring them on to repeat the feat tonight.
The match, which kicks off at 7.45pm, is live on television tonight on eirSport 2, RTE 2 and ITV 4.
RTE 2fm will have also live commentary on radio, while there will be live streaming available on www.rwcwomens.com in selected regions.
Ireland: 15 Hannah Tyrrell, 14 Eimear Considine, 13 Jenny Murphy, 12 Sene Naoupu, 11 Alison Miller, 10 Nora Stapleton, 9 Nicole Cronin; 1 Lindsay Peat, 2 Leah Lyons, 3 Ailis Egan, 4 Sophie Spence, 5 Marie-Louise Reilly, 6 Ciara Griffin, 7 Claire Molloy (Capt), 8 Paula Fitzpatrick