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Four changes for Wales as team named for Ireland Six Nations trip

By Liam Heagney
Wales' Alisha Butchers (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Wales boss Ioan Cunningham has made four changes to his team for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations round three visit to Ireland. The Welsh were beaten 10-46 by England at Bristol in their last outing and the response has been to alter two backs and two forwards.

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Jasmine Joyce, who pulled up lame and missed out having been named to start against the English, has been restored to the right wing at the expense of the omitted Lisa Neumann while Keira Bevan, a try-scoring sub at Ashton Gate, has been promoted to the starting XV in Cork with Sian Jones benched.

In the pack, two more round-two replacements have also gained promotion with tighthead Sisilia Tuipulotu and blindside Alisha Butchers chosen in place of the benched Donna Rose and the absent Kate Williams.

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Coach Cunningham said in a WRU team naming media release: “The week without a game has been valuable for us as we have had the opportunity to analyze our performances and assess that honestly and constructively.

“We have focused on working hard, especially so in a few aspects we will have to strengthen against the Irish – but also on a lot of positive things we have done in the first two games.

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“To have a Jazz-calibre player available to us again is a huge boost. She has the talent and experience to worry the Irish. Sisilia gets her chance to start this week, and the competition between her and Donna Rose for the tighthead prop position benefits both of them and the team as a whole as well.

“The same goes for the intro position with Keira Bevan and Sian Jones. Although Sian did well once again, Keira showed the influence she has against England and has therefore been selected to start this time.

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“Alisha made a difference when she came from the bench at Ashton Gate as well and she deserves to get her chance to start this game in the back row.

“Beating Ireland on their ground will be a bit of a challenge, but a challenge we are really looking forward to. We are all determined that we will see a quality performance from the squad, a performance that everyone will be proud of.”

Wales (vs Ireland, Saturday):
15. Jenny Hesketh, 14. Jasmine Joyce, 13. Hannah Jones (captain), 12. Kerin Lake, 11. Carys Cox; 10. Lleucu George, 9. Keira Bevan; 1. Gwenllian Pyrs, 2. Carys Phillips, 3. Sisilia Tuipulotu, 4. Abbie Fleming, 5. Georgia Evans, 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Alex Callender (vice-captain), 8. Bethan Lewis. Replacements: 16. Molly Reardon, 17. Abbey Constable, 18. Donna Rose, 19. Natalia John, 20. Gwennan Hopkins, 21. Sian Jones, 22. Kayleigh Powell, 23. Courtney Keight.

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