Caplice wants a platform for wing wizards to shine

Mallow’s Anna Caplice has said that creating an attacking platform in the wide channels will be the key to Ireland overcoming Wales in their Women’s Six Nations clash at Donnybrook tomorrow (kick-off 1pm).

Caplice wants a platform for wing wizards to shine

Mallow’s Anna Caplice has said that creating an attacking platform in the wide channels will be the key to Ireland overcoming Wales in their Women’s Six Nations clash at Donnybrook tomorrow (kick-off 1pm).

Following their victory over Scotland at the same venue last weekend, Adam Griggs’ charges will seek to bolster their Championship aspirations.

Beibhinn Parsons bagged a superb intercept try to seal that opening round success, but Caplice feels she can become an even bigger nuisance to opposition defences.

“We’ve reviewed lots of aspects, but I think releasing our wingers, giving them a bit more to do this weekend [will be crucial]. We’ve some brilliant players on the wing,” Caplice said.

“To release them and give them a bit more time on the ball. That will get us hopefully on the front-foot and continue that good stretch throughout the first half into the second half. Close out the game fully.”

When Ireland faced Wales last November at the UCD Bowl, a last-gasp Keira Bevan try denied the hosts a morale-boosting win.

Scotland threatened to do the same last Sunday, only this time Caplice and her team-mates dug deep to secure an 18-14 triumph.

While the Harlequins forward was encouraged by the way they finished the contest, she readily acknowledged the squad have been honing in on the negative aspects of their performance.

“Our defensive effort last weekend, we’re very happy with. Managed aspects of it and also there’s still more to work on and still work to add in and tweak.

"Things like that. Personally, we all will have gone away and seen ‘okay, what can I do better?’ and reviewed that.

“Then at the same time, work as a unit. All the back-rows will have been communicating all week about ‘okay, did you see this at one minute 20 seconds’, whatever it was. ‘What can we do better here?’.

"There’s a lot of really good, positive conversations going on about how to improve in defence and attack,” Caplice added.

Ireland’s starting line-up for tomorrow shows three changes from the team that defeated Scotland six days ago.

After a recent lay-off, Eimear Considine returns to the back-three as an indirect replacement for Aoife Doyle.

The Clare native has been selected at full back, with the versatile Lauren Delany shifting out to the right wing.

With a calf injury — sustained in the final-quarter of the Scotland game — ruling Ellen Murphy out of contention, former Cork camogie prodigy Claire Keohane is named alongside Kathryn Dane at half-back.

Elsewhere, Judy Bobbett (an international debutant in the autumn test against Wales) takes the place of Nichola Fryday in the second-row.

Having last featured for Ireland at the 2017 World Cup, Larissa Muldoon is named amongst the replacements as cover for Keohane.

After delivering another powerful display in last weekend’s opener, Caplice joins Edel McMahon and captain Ciara Griffin in the back-row.

The Leesider is one of four English-based players in the Irish side, with Delany (Firwood Waterloo), Cliodhna Moloney and McMahon (both Wasps) also involved in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.

By contrast, the visitors’ matchday 23 is comprised entirely of players plying their trades in Wales.

Despite succumbing to a 19-15 reversal against Italy in their opening day fixture, Welsh head coach Chris Horsman has resisted the urge to make wholesale changes.

Flankers Manon Johnes and Alisha Butchers are handed their first starts of 2020, in place of Alex Callender and Bethan Lewis respectively.

They will join skipper Siwan Lillicrap at the base of the Welsh scrum.

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