Tom Tierney makes 10 changes to Irish team as they face relatively unfamiliar foe

Canada are the next opponents for Ireland

Tom Tierney, Ireland

Ireland team in the changing room with head coach Tom Tierney ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ireland women's rugby head coach Tom Tierney has made 10 changes to his side for Saturday's meeting with Canada.

Two of the players coming into the side are earning their debut caps at international level, with debuts in the pack for Nichola Fryday and Anna Caplice.

Among the other changes, Sene Naoupu comes into the centre to partner Nicole Fowley.

And there's a new three-quarters partnership of Mary Healy and Nikki Caughey.

Ireland were narrowly beaten by England in their most recent fixture on Sunday.

Tierney is taking the positives from that loss.

"There were lots of positives to take from last Sunday's game against England. While the result didn't go in our favour, the players will take a lot from the performance and we will be looking to build on this over the next two weeks against Canada and New Zealand," he said.

"This weekend, Canada will present us with a new and different challenge. We know England well from playing them in the Six Nations, but this week's opposition are less familiar to us.

"They have a very strong rugby programme in Canada and were runners-up at the last World Cup, so we will have to play smart rugby against them and stick to our game-plan. We've two more new caps this week as well, so we're looking forward to seeing how Anna and Nichola get on in UCD."

Starting team vs Canada

15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht)
14. Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster)
13. Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/Connacht)
12. Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht)
10. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster)
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht)
1. Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster)
2. Zoe Grattage (Highfield / Munster)
3. Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)
4. Katie Norris (Blackrock/Leinster)
5. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Leinster) 
6. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster)
7. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster) 
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's/Leinster) (capt)

Replacements:

16. Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster)
17. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster)
18. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
19. Elaine Anthony (Highfield/Munster)
20. Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians/Munster)
21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
22. Jackie Shiels (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
23. Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster)