David Nucifora talks up investment in women’s game

IRFU performance director David Nucifora believes the investment made in women’s rugby in Ireland will allow for ‘long term growth’ of the game after next month’s World Cup.

Dublin and Belfast are the host cities for the 12-team tournament which kicks off on August 9 and runs until August 26.

Ireland are in Pool C alongside Australia, France, Japan, and Nucifora insists the side will be the “best-prepared Irish team to enter a Rugby World Cup, there is no doubt about it”.

He continued: “By combining the 7s and 15s programme together under one banner, one system, it will allow us to invest money more efficiently. Part of the investment was to create this training base, having a purpose-built gym dedicated to women’s rugby, and hiring a 15s coach in Tom Tierney for the past three years to take them into this World Cup.

“All the players will have direct access to nutritional advice, strength and conditioning, and medical, a considerable investment but one that gives the girls the chance to perform at their best.”

Nucifora believes the hospitality to be experienced by all sides will be unparalleled, and that the home support will be a tremendous boost to the host nation. Tierney’s side are set to take part in a five-day training camp at Fota Island in Cork next week and Nucifora says training has intensified in the run up to the World Cup.

“Training times have multiplied considerably, two or three times as many contact hours. It is all part of the parcel in the build up to the World Cup. Last November we had the first (autumn) series for the women, they played three Test matches against three of the top ranked teams in the world which was great preparation.”

Ireland open their World Cup campaign against Australia on August 9 at 7pm.

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