Laois native at the heart of Ireland Women's Rugby Grand Slam plan

Ballickmoyler woman will be key against old enemy England in St Patrick's Day decider

Alison Miller scores a try

Alison Miller

It could be a St Patrick's Day to remember for the Ireland Women and a Laois native may be set for a starring role.

The Irish women are hoping for a second Grand Slam in five seasons. Friday's title decider sees them come up against familiar foes England. One of the key players for Ireland will be Alison Miller from Ballickmoyler but with big Timahoe connections.

Alison Miller, the scorer of a hat-trick of tries against England during the 2013 Grand Slam, and Hannah Tyrrell, who has touched down twice in her last two games, will form the back-three with skilful full-back Kim Flood.

Alison is one of Ireland's strongest players and scored a brilliant try for Ireland against New Zealand in the last World Cup. Her versatility and adaptability was prove this year when she had to travel to a seven-a-side tournament with another Irish international team during the six nations.

Alison has big GAA connections particularly in Timahoe. Her dad Bobby and uncles John, Tom, Jim and Dick were all 1969 county champions with Timahoe. Her father played for Laois and Leinster but took up rugby aged 40.

Speaking ahead of the St. Patrick's Day clash, Head Coach Tom Tierney said: "There's a very strong spirit in this squad that's been developing nicely over the last few months and, while the performances to date haven't been as accurate or as clinical as we would have liked, we've ground out four wins in a row to set up a very big game this Friday in Donnybrook.

He said England are arriving to Dublin on the back of a huge win against Scotland so their confidence will be high.

"From our point of view, we have a huge opportunity on St. Patrick's Day and for us it's about looking to rectify some of the areas of our game that we haven't been happy with over the past few weeks and if we can make those small changes, then Friday's game should be a great one," he said.

The match kicks of at 8pm (live RTÉ Two/ of Ireland only)/Sky Sports Mix/'Game On' 2fm/Six Nations Facebook Live Stream)

Women's Six Nations Table

IRELAND WOMEN: Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster); Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's/Leinster) (capt).

Replacements: Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Ilse van Staden (Cooke/Ulster), Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht), Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht).

ENGLAND WOMEN: Danielle Waterman (Bristol); Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), Amber Reed (Bristol), Kay Wilson (Richmond); Emily Scott (Saracens), La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks); Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries), Amy Cokayne (Lichfield), Justine Lucas (Lichfield), Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield), Alex Matthews (Richmond), Marlie Packer (Bristol), Sarah Hunter (Bristol) (capt).

Replacements: Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens), Vickii Cornborough (Aylesford Bulls), Laura Keates (Worcester Valkyries), Poppy Cleall (Bristol), Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol), Bianca Blackburn (Worcester Valkyries), Rachael Burford (Aylesford Bulls), Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries).

Referee: Alhambra Nievas (Spain)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher, Paul Haycock (both Ireland)
Television Match Official: Neil Patterson (Scotland)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Ireland Women to win: 4/1; Draw: 22/1; England Women to win: 1/6

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