Local eyes will be on Ballyhooly rugby star Leah Lyons this Friday as the Ireland women welcome England to Donnybrook as they go in search of the Grand Slam in this year’s Rugby Six Nations.
Both teams head into the final round of the tournament with four successive victories, meaning a win for either team would secure not only the championship and the Triple Crown, but the prestigious Grand Slam.
Ireland overcame Wales with a gritty 12-7 win in Cardiff last weekend, while the English ran in 12 tries as they breezed past Scotland. As such, England are installed as the run-away favourites to clinch the championship on Friday night, with odds of 1/5 at the bookies.
Ireland make one change from the Welsh game with Larissa Muldoon set to start at scrum-half.
Ballyhooly’s Leah Lyons starts once again in the front row. Head coach Tom Tierney said the game on St Patrick’s Day presents a huge opportunity for his side.
“There’s a very strong spirit in this squad that’s been developing nicely over the last few months and, while the performances to date haven’t been as accurate or as clinical as we would have liked, we’ve ground out four wins in a row to set up a very big game this Friday evening in Donnybrook.
“England are arriving to Dublin on the back of a huge win against Scotland so their confidence will be high, and deservedly so.
“They have shown throughout the championship that they can score tries from anywhere and they have a strong and skilful pack as well.
“From our point of view, we have a huge opportunity on St Patrick’s Day and for us it’s about looking to rectify some of the areas of our game that we haven’t been happy with over the past few weeks, and if we can make those small changes, then Friday evening’s game should be a great one,” he said.
The game kicks off at 8pm with live coverage on RTÉ.