Four years ago at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Surrey, Kildare’s Jenny Murphy watched Philip Doyle’s team from the stands.
Fast forward to Friday afternoon in Paris, and she’ll be in the thick of it, living the dream.
“I remember thinking it would be amazing to play for your country and here I am now. Honestly, I’m just a very lucky person,” said Murphy, whose good friend, boxer Katie Taylor, came to watch Ireland’s send-off game against Wales in Malahide last week.
“You grow up watching your heroes lining up in the green jersey and singing the national anthem, but the fact it’s happening, it’s more than a dream come true,” said Murphy, who won her first cap three years ago aged 21.
“They were such a warm welcoming bunch,” confides the Leinster centre, “and even though I’m competing for a spot with Grace Davitt, she’s been absolutely phenomenal in taking me under her wing.
“But, you just need to look around at your teammates and you know they’re capable of very special things and they can push you to do special things.”
The atmosphere in camp is “happy and relaxed” as the Irish squad base themselves in the Paris suburb of Marcoussis, ahead of their Pool B games against the USA, world champions New Zealand (August 5) and Kahsakstan (August 9), and Murphy will engross herself in the House of Cards box-set during their four-day turnarounds.
“Our conditioning coach Marian Earls is very precise about what she wants done with active rest and recovery, so in that regard we have complete faith in her.
“She’s just been phenomenal. I’m not worried about the four-day turnaround really because we’re in good hands.”
Ireland’s opening game (Friday, August 1) against the USA will be broadcast live on TG4 at 4pm, and the 14-time capped Irish star believes they have what it takes to get points on the board. They’re very physical and athletic, but what they have lacking is the likes of players like Lynne (Cantwell), Fiona (Coghlan), Marie Louise (Reilly) and Grace (Davitt) who have years of international experience. Athleticism will get you so far, but intelligent play gets you that little bit further, so we have to play smart rugby and keep our execution high,” added the former Peamount United FC League of Ireland winner.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved