Cliodhna Moloney would like to see the Ireland women’s team share a stadium with the men’s team every Six Nations weekend.
Tom Tierney’s side will run out in Twickenham tonight (7.15pm) right after Joe Schmidt’s men have left the field, for their Six Nations clash with the England women’s side.
With the Women’s World Cup in Ireland next year, Moloney believes it’s the perfect time to continue to push the game, and give them the opportunity to showcase their skills in the biggest stadiums around.
“Some of the girls would have played here two years ago but for most of the girls now, it’s a new experience,” Moloney said of the visit to RFU HQ.
“It’s a great opportunity, it’s a positive step and I’m hopeful if the opportunity came up we’d play in the Aviva too. To be treated like that is a good reward.
“If we could do it every weekend, it would be great. It’s a great chance to get A crowd in – and especially in France, where the women’s game is huge.
"The game is growing in general and with the World Cup in Ireland next year, it’s perfect timing.”
Moloney, 22, made her senior debut in The Stoop against England last November, in what was Ireland’s first women’s November international, and says the experience has gone a long way to helping her ease into this year’s Six Nations championship.
“I would say the Autumn international helped to get a taste of the speed of the game, as well as the crowd – that made it easier going into the Six Nations.
“It was an ideal time to give us that opportunity.
“I think you need to embrace these big occasions, it is the best way to go.
“The crowd in France [two weeks ago] was amazing, and it’s easy to feed off that.
“I hope because it’s free on Saturday that a lot of the fans will stay on and watch.
“It’s a given in any clash in any sport between England and Ireland it’s going to be high intensity, something to look forward to. We all can’t wait to play England.”
Ireland come into the game on the back of a disappointing defeat to France in Perpignan, but the win over Wales on the opening weekend means they’re still in the hunt for the championship. Victory over England today would be a huge boost for Tierney’s side, and Moloney has refused to give up hope of overall victory.
“Definitely the feeling is positive,” she said. “We want to improve where we can improve, but it’s still very positive for the title. We do have some regrets from the France game, we feel we left a few things behind us, but if we can learn from that, it’ll be a good thing.
“If we can turn that negative into a positive, it’ll be the making of a team.”
N Briggs (Munster, capt), E O’Byrne-White (Leinster), A Donnelly (Leinster), S Naoupu (Connacht), M Coyne (Connacht), N Stapleton ( Leinster), L Muldoon (Skewen); R O’Reilly (Connacht), C Moloney (Leinster), A Egan (Leinster), S Spence (Leinster), ML Reilly (Leinster), C Griffin (Munster), C Molloy (Bristol), P Fitzpatrick (Toulouse).
Z Grattage (Munster), F Hayes (Munster), F Reidy (Munster), C Cooney ( Leinster), H O’Brien (Toulouse), M Healy (Connacht), N Caughey (Ulster) J Shiels (Richmond).
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