Ireland coach McWilliams opts for continuity ahead of daunting France trip in Six Nations

DESPITE the opening-round loss to Wales, the Irelanders remain tenacious for their daunting trip to Toulouse this Saturday.

Oach Greg McWilliams has named an unchanged Matchday 23 for the second TikTok Six Nations game of the campaign against France.

That means star winger Beibhinn Parsons will once again have to settle for a place on the bench, while Eimear Considine, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Lucy Mulhall form the back three.

After complementing each other well in the RDS loss, newcomers Aoibheann Reilly and Nicole Cronin continue at half-backs, while Stacey Flood stands in the middle alongside Eve Higgins.

At the helm, Clermont resident Linda Djougang will play a key role at loosehead in a front row that also includes Neve Jones and Katie O’Dwyer.

Captain Nichola Fryday partners with Sam Monaghan in the tight five, who must cut out their work to deal with a powerful French unit.

In the back row, blindside Dorothy Wall reconnects with Edel McMahon and No. 8 Brittany Hogan.

After sitting 80 minutes on the bench last week, Christy Haney is hoping to make her debut as a substitute as she covers tighthead props and Emma Hooban and Chloe Pearse fill the other front row positions.

Anna McGann and Hannah O’Connor are second and back rows, while Kathryn Dane and Enya Breen, along with Parsons, cover the back positions.

After losing the forward battle last week, Ireland are determined to take on the French.

“There were times when Wales were progressing and we had a player in the bin and Nichola (Fryday) came and she said, ‘We’re the Irish, we’re not going down fighting – we’re going to keep going’,” said Edel McMahon.

“We’re definitely not going to shy away from it. We will enjoy the challenge of playing against a top three team in the world.

“You don’t get a chance to do that very often. But the Irish certainly tend to show up at shows like this. Same as the last time we played England. I think we’ll definitely be there for the occasion.” don’t go in our shells.

“We have a lot of insights that we need to correct. As long as we get these corrections, we can take positives from them.”

Ireland vs France (Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, Saturday 2 April, 2:15 p.m.): Eimear Considine; Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall; Nicole Cronin, Aoibheann Reilly; Linda Djougang, Neve Jones, Katie O’Dwyer, Nichola Fryday, Sam Monaghan, Dorothy Wall, Edel McMahon, Brittany Hogan. Substitutes: Emma Hooban, Chloe Pearse, Christy Haney, Anna McGann, Hannah O’Connor, Kathryn Dane, Enya Breen, Beibhinn Parsons. Ireland coach McWilliams opts for continuity ahead of daunting France trip in Six Nations

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