Griggs: Ireland can defy odds

Griggs: Ireland can defy odds
Ireland women’s rugby head coach, Adam Griggs.

Ireland women’s rugby head coach, Adam Griggs, has dismissed suggestions that his side’s amateur status puts them at a disadvantage for their Six Nations bow, against England on Friday night.

Despite their opponents securing full-time contracts in recent months, Griggs believes all the foundations are in place for the Irish to defy the odds, in front of a packed Donnybrook.

“As long as we can put in a performance we know we’re capable of, I think that’s going to set us up nicely.

"In terms of the professionalism, the England squad have always had that depth anyway,” Griggs said at yesterday’s team announcement in Dublin.

“Speaking to their coach, Simon Middleton, they’re talking about their recovery times and things being improved. For us, when we’re in camp and the way we go about things, from the medical staff to our management, we’re always as professional as we can be, as well.

While Friday’s game will come too soon for loosehead prop, Lindsay Peat, Alison Miller makes a welcome return to a Six Nations match-day squad.

Following an injury-ravaged 2018, the Laois native is named on the bench, along with potential debutants, Linda Djougang, Annie Marie O’Hara, and Kathryn Dane.

As tempting as it was to include the Grand Slam champion, the impressive autumn form of Eimear Considine and Megan Williams means Miller will stay in reserve for the visit of the Red Rose.

“She [Miller] has been doing really well. We just wanted to make sure that we don’t throw her straight back in. It’s about making sure that she gets her confidence back up, as well. Her playing against Wales [in a warm-up] a couple of weeks ago was certainly a step in the right direction for her there,” Griggs said.

“If you look at someone like Eimear Considine, who, in November, was one of our star players, it’s a bit of a reward for her and Megan Williams, as well. I’m sure Ali will get some time on the field and I know she’ll show us what she can do.”

Griggs also confirmed that the quartet of Beibhinn Parsons, Eve Higgins, Louise Galvin, and Hannah Tyrrell — who are on sevens duty in Sydney this weekend — will be integrated back into the squad, ahead of their round-three encounter with Italy.

It is the view of many that this arrangement is holding back the 15s game. But as someone who is heavily involved in both set-ups, the New Zealander sees it as a help, rather than a hindrance.

It helps that I’m working in the sevens during the week and have a good feel for what the players can bring. I’ve always said to them that even though you’re away on sevens duty, your selection can also be based on what I see you do day in, day out.

“That’s really good and, also, we’ve had them in the first two camps of January, while they weren’t away. If they can perform well in training, then they can put their hand up for selection,” Griggs added. Lining out with Juliet Short and Claire Molloy in the back-row, Kerry’s Ciara Griffin will again be captain. Laura Feely will fill the void left by Peat in the front-row, while Nicole Fowley is given the nod, alongside Ailsa Hughes, at half-back.

IRELAND:

L Delany; E Considine, S Naoupu, M Claffey, M Williams; N Fowley, A Hughes; L Feely, L Lyons, F Reidy; A McDermott, N Fryday; J Short, C Molloy, C Griffin.

Replacements:

E Hooban, L Djougang, AM O’Hora, A Caplice, C McLaughlin, K Dane, E Murphy, A Miller.

More on this topic

Amateur players must wait as IRFU outline return to rugby detailsAmateur players must wait as IRFU outline return to rugby details

Simon Zebo desperate as ever to land that elusive European titleSimon Zebo desperate as ever to land that elusive European title

Irish provinces enter three-week summer break hoping for PRO14 clarityIrish provinces enter three-week summer break hoping for PRO14 clarity

Rugby clubs meeting to discuss IRFU's return to play roadmapRugby clubs meeting to discuss IRFU's return to play roadmap


More in this Section

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confident Man Utd are ready to pick up where they left offOle Gunnar Solskjaer confident Man Utd are ready to pick up where they left off

Dalo & Quirke Podcast: A landmark day for the country and GAA, but many questions still to answerDalo & Quirke Podcast: A landmark day for the country and GAA, but many questions still to answer

Munster fans showing support by waiving right to a refundMunster fans showing support by waiving right to a refund

GAA to restart with 11-week club window as roadmap revealed for return to actionGAA to restart with 11-week club window as roadmap revealed for return to action


Lifestyle

Eve Kelliher consults a Munster designer to find out what our future residences, offices and businesses will look likeHow pandemic life is transforming homes and workplaces

Nidge and co return for a repeat of a series that gripped the nation over its five seasons.Friday's TV Highlights: Love/Hate returns while Springwatch looks at rewilding

A family expert at the charity Action for Children advises how parents can maintain contact with kids after separation if there’s an access problem.My ex won’t let me see my child because I haven’t paid maintenance during lockdown. What can I do?

THREE years ago, when radio presenter Daniella Moyles announced that she was quitting, few could have guessed from her upbeat Instagram post the inner turmoil she’d been enduring.Daniella Moyles on how she beat anxiety

More From The Irish Examiner