CORK'S Heather O'Brien will be hoping to play her part at number eight this evening when Ireland begin their bid for World Cup glory this evening as they take on Australia in the Women’s World Cup at the UCD Bowl, 7pm.
Highfield's Leah Lyons, will start on the bench as replacement hooker, while there is no place in the squad for Cork's other representative, Mallow's Anna Caplice.
Former Ireland scrum half Tom Tierney has been guiding their fortunes for the last two years and now that the preparations have concluded can’t wait to get the tournament started.
He also thinks that the sell-out crowd at this evening’s game can play their part as well.
"The squad are very excited to get the tournament underway. They have had excellent preparation and things have really come together since arriving into UCD on Saturday afternoon and everyone has been extremely focused on their role and the challenge ahead,” says Tierney ahead of tonight’s first pool game.
"The Australians are a good team and we will have to be very good for the opening game. The players are all very clear on the challenges that the Wallaroos pose.
"However, this is a home World Cup and we're confident that the crowd will get behind us which will be an added benefit for us and we're all looking forward to getting the tournament underway.” He has named a strong team for their with Lindsay Peat, Cliodhna Moloney and Ailis Egan in the front row.
The second-row is comprised of Marie-Louise Reilly and Paula Fitzpatrick, and the back-row sees Ashleigh Baxter at six, Evening Echo columnist Heather O'Brien at Number eight and captain Claire Molloy at seven.
Larissa Muldoon partners out-half Nora Stapleton at half-back, with Sene Naoupu and Jenny Murphy forming the centre partnership.
Alison Miller and Eimear Considine line out on the wings, with Hannah Tyrrell at full-back.
The game will be televised live by RTÉ while Eir Sport and ITV also will show the games.
See P36 for more.