Ireland women's team to face France named

The Irish are top of their Six Nations table after two rounds of action

Sophie Spence, Ireland, rugby, Six Nations

Ireland's Sophie Spence ©INPHO/Giuseppe Fama

Ireland women's head coach Tom Tierney has made several changes to his team ahead of their Six Nations clash against France at Donnybrook Stadium on Sunday.

Sophie Spence has been named to start alongside Marie-Louise Reilly in the second row, while Kim Flood comes into the side on the wing.

Mary Healy will be at scrum half.

Tierney admits that part of considerations will be to give more players experience with a World Cup on home soil fast approaching.

"We've got a couple of players getting their first Six Nations starts of this season, and we're looking to continue to give players more game time as we continue to develop depth in the squad ahead of the Women's Rugby World Cup in August," he said.

Ireland are currently top of the Six Nations table after beating Scotland 22-15 away and following that up with a 27-3 win in Italy.

Tiernay says they made life a little harder for themselves in L'Aquila then they would have hoped.

"We made things hard for ourselves at times in Italy, especially in the first half where we weren't as accurate as we needed to be. However in the second half we improved and to claim the try-bonus with the last play of the game was very pleasing," he said.

"We now head into a tough test on Sunday against the French. They recovered well from their defeat to England on the opening weekend to show why they are defending champions as they beat Scotland well."

Ireland team to face France

1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union / Leinster)
2. Leah Lyons (Highfield / Munster)
3. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
4. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
5. Marie-Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians / Munster)
7. Claire Molloy (Bristol / Connacht)
8. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College / Leinster) Captain
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians / Connacht)
10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
11. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians / Munster)
12. Claire Mc Laughlin (Cooke / Ulster)
13. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere / Leinster)
14. Kim Flood (Railway Union / Leinster)
15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians / Connacht)

16. Ciara O Connor (Galwegians / Connacht)
17. Ilse Van Staden (Cooke / Ulster)
18. Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians / Connacht)
19. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union / Leinster)
20. Nichola Fryday (Tullamore / Connacht)
21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union)
22. Nikki Caughey (Railway Union / Ulster)
23. Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians / Munster)*