The Irish Rugby Football Union has welcomed today’s announcement by the RBS Six Nations Council that the Women’s Six Nations Championship will continue in its current format.
The growth and interest in the Women’s game has been phenomenal, and well deserved, and the Ireland Women’s 15-a-side team is already looking forward to defending their Six Nations crown ahead of their bid for glory at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France. The IRFU is also committed to the Olympic Sevens programme.
The IRFU’s Scott Walker said: “The IRFU believes that there is a requirement to provide an inspiration platform for both the 15-a-side and Sevens players, which can in turn promote Women’s rugby to all.
“For the 15 a-side game, the Six Nations is that platform and the IRFU is pleased that the tournament will remain in its present format as we believe that it, and the Olympic Sevens, will serve to promote rugby to more women and encourage even greater female participation in the sport.”
Ireland’s 2013 Grand Slam-winning captain Fiona Coghlan said: “We are delighted that the Six Nations Council has confirmed that there will be no change to the tournament format and we look forward to defending our Six Nations and Grand Slam titles next year.
“The development of the Women’s game is dependent on big tournaments, such as the Six Nations, and 2014 could be another great year for Women’s rugby as we target both Six Nations and Rugby World Cup success.”
Meanwhile, Fiona Hayes, a member of the Ireland Women’s Grand Slam-winning squad, will be at Thomond Park this Saturday as Munster take on Leinster in their big RaboDirect PRO12 derby.
Cork native Fiona will be joined by Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle to present the Six Nations trophy to supporters and conduct a half-time interview live on the big screen.