Rugby World Cup: Uncapped Mulhall in Irish team to face Spain

Lucy Mulhall
Lucy Mulhall will make her Ireland debut in the qualifier in Italy

Ireland coach Adam Griggs has brought in uncapped centre Lucy Mulhall for Monday’s opening World Cup qualifier against Spain in Parma.

The Ireland Sevens captain is the only change from the line-up against Italy in the Six Nations in April.

Uncapped centre Sam Monaghan is among the replacements.

“Spain will provide a stern test and the group are fully focused on starting our campaign on the front foot,” said Griggs.

He added: “We are confident the combinations and cohesion built up through the Women’s Six Nations will stand us in good stead for the challenges ahead, and we’re now excited to get up and running on Monday evening.

Hard graft

“We have been building towards this tournament for a number of months now, and the players have put in a huge volume of work to get to this point.

“The 23 selected have the honour of representing the wider group as we set out to achieve our goal of Rugby World Cup qualification.”

Mulhall was a possible selection for fly-half but as expected the 10 shirt goes to Stacey Flood.

After Spain, Ireland will take on Six Nations rivals Italy on 19 September before playing Scotland, the lowest ranked team of the four, in their final qualifier on 25 September.

The side that finishes top will book a spot at the World Cup next year, with the runner-up entering the final qualification tournament.

Ireland: E Considine; AL Murphy Crowe, L Mulhall, S Naoupu, B Parsons; S Flood, K Dane; L Peat, C Moloney, L Djougang, A McDermott, N Fryday, D Wall, C Griffin, B Hogan,

Replacements: N Jones, L Feely, L Lyons, S Monaghan, E McMahon, E Lane, E Breen, L Delany.

BBC News