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Doyle Primes Players For ‘Physical’ Cup Opener

Doyle Primes Players For ‘Physical’ Cup Opener

Ireland head coach Philip Doyle says his Women’s squad will need to ‘box clever’ if they want to get their World Cup campaign off to a winning start.

Ireland will face a strong USA team in Marcoussis in their opening pool game at 4pm Irish time today before taking on defending champions New Zealand and Kazakhstan.
“The Americans are going to try and smash us out of the park, basically, and we have to take the punches and roll with them,” Doyle told IrishRugby.ie. “I think it’s going to be a very physically hard game for us.
“They have huge strength, speed and power. They’re very tall, very heavy, very good athletes – like really top class athletes.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for them but I’d like to think that Ireland are a better rugby team. I’m not being disrespectful to the USA but I think our skill-sets are better, our set piece is better and tactical decision making would be better. That’s where I’m hoping where we’re going to win – by using those tools.”
The girls in green have been working hard over the past two months to improve their strength and Doyle revealed that France’s coach had remarked on how much bigger and fitter they look this week.

The Six Nations earlier this year, Doyle revealed, had been played out with the World Cup in mind.  
“It’s been a major thing for the past two-and-a-half years. The first 18 months since 2010 (the last World Cup) was literally a rebuild of the squad because I think I had 11 retirements from 2010. Some I knew about, some I didn’t know about so it came as a little bit of a shock to me.
“Then for the next two-and-a-half years it was all about World Cup. From strength and conditioning to skills to game plans…everything.
“Especially when I knew the group, I started playing a certain way. People wouldn’t necessarily know that but I did. I’ve been thinking about America since the day we got the draw.”
While this will be Doyle’s last campaign as head coach, it is not something he is dwelling on.
“It’s way at the back of my mind. It’s not about me. I don’t talk about it to the ladies and I won’t until the very last day when I say goodbye.
“This is all about getting Ireland up the rankings in the world. Every time I’ve gone to a World Cup with the ladies I’ve increased their ranking and this is absolutely no different.”

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The much-anticipated Pool B clash between Ireland and the USA will be televised live on TG4, with coverage beginning at 3.50pm Irish time.