Source: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Double Farewell – Ireland v Japan

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It’s a sad and unusual happening: both a captain and a head coach take their last stand in office as Ireland host Japan.

While Adam Griggs’ departure was predictable, Ciara Griffin’s certainly wasn’t. Her team will want to ensure they give her the best possible send-off.

The Irish squad:

15. Lauren Delany (Sale Sharks, 17 caps)
14. Aoife Doyle (Railway Union, 6)
13. Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians, 22)
12. Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere, 45)
11. Laura Sheehan (Exeter Chiefs, 5)
10. Enya Breen (UL Bohemians, 8)
9. Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere, 17)
1. Laura Feely (Blackrock College, (22)
2. Neve Jones (Malone, 5)
3. Linda Djougang (Romagnat, 16)
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union, 17)
5. Sam Monaghan (Wasps, 4)
6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians, captain, 40)
7. Edel McMahon (Wasps, 13)
8. Hannah O’Connor (Blackrock College, 6)

16. Cliodhna Moloney (Wasps, 30)
17. Katie O’Dwyer (Railway Union, 4)
18. Mary Healy (Naas/Suttonians, uncapped)
19. Anna Caplice (Gloucester-Hartpury, 15)
20. Maeve Og O’Leary (Blackrock College, 1)
21. Alisa Hughes (Railway Union, 13)
22. Shannon Touhey (Tullamore, uncapped)
23. Ella Roberts (Wicklow, uncapped)

Griggs has made a number of changes, including three potential debutants, Mary Healy, Ella Roberts and Shannon Touhey. Aoife Doyle and Aoife McDermott make welcome returns.

Four regulars have left the squad to join the sevens party in Dubai, Beibhinn Parsons, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins and Stacey Flood. But their prior engagement gives Griggs (and his immediate successor Greg McWilliams, who was no doubt intimately concerned with these selections) the chance to assess options.

It’s a long haul back for the Irish after their recent troubles. They were delighted to see off the Eagles (20-10) and now face the Sakura who gave the Scots plenty of problems (12-36).

The Sakura line-up has not yet been announced.

Match Details:

Venue: RDS Stadium, Dublin
Saturday 20 November 2021
Kick-off: 3pm
Referee: Clara Munarini (FIR)
ARs: Sara Cox (RFU) and Katherine Ritchie (RFU)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)