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Ireland Women Feature On Total Rugby Radio

Ireland Women Feature On Total Rugby Radio

The IRB, in its latest episode of Total Rugby Radio, reports on the encouraging progress of the Ireland Women’s Sevens team as they make their debut on the international stage.

Last weekend was an historic one for the IRFU and Sevens rugby in Ireland as the Women’s team finished in the top six at the FIRA-AER Sevens event in Moscow to qualify for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Jon Skurr’s fast-improving girls in green beat Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine along the way and eventually finished as Plate runners-up behind the Netherlands.

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It was a tremendous result for an Ireland squad that has only been working together for three months, with established Six Nations players combining with some talented and skilful newcomers to the international scene.

Speaking about their Sevens journey so far, head coach Skurr said: “Sevens is a growing game across the world. It was something that the Union knew wasn’t big in Ireland and they made the decision to try it out.

“It’s an attractive sport to watch and it’s an exciting game for non-rugby fans to get involved in. The Sevens development is helping the players, developing their skill levels and it’s a part of how we can help grow rugby in Ireland and beyond.

“The Six Nations team did fantastically well this year and Irish rugby has some real stars of the future. Sevens has just given them another platform for that alongside the fifteens.

“A lot of these girls have played fifteens and some of their skills have really been developed by the fifteen-a-side coaches and by the conditioning team. It’s led to what we’re trying to deal with with the Sevens.”

Ireland Sevens captain Claire Molloy has seen her team-mates thrive in this new arena, explaining: “It’s been a great opportunity to see new players and see them step up to an international level. We’ve got a couple of girls who haven’t been involved in the fifteens set-up.

“It’s broadened our base of players and raised the level all round. Hopefully Sevens offers an opportunity to girls who haven’t got involved in rugby before.”

Keen for that player pool to develop even further, Amy Davis said: “It’s a very attractive version of sport. It will attract people who don’t normally play rugby to give it a go as well. I think that’s massively important.

“If we can just get it out there to the wider audience, we’ll be able to get more and more people playing and that can only be a good thing.”

Ireland’s most experienced fifteen-a-side player, Lynne Cantwell, also highlighted that skills honed in other sports are of a considerable benefit when it comes to playing Sevens.

“There are so many transferable skills in Gaelic football and hurling. We’ve got probably four or five Inter-county players involved (in the squad) at the moment,” she said.

“You’ve got your kicking skills, your passing skills and they’re an awful lot more athletic naturally than rugby players. That’s something we’re going to tap into hopefully in the future.”

Click here to listen to the latest episode of Total Rugby Radio (Ireland feature begins at 11:50).

Related Links –

Ireland Qualify For Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens

IRB Total Rugby Radio