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Reilly Ready For American Challenge

Reilly Ready For American Challenge

Marie Louise Reilly, a tower of strength in Ireland’s second row, said the squad are in the best shape possible as they look to overcome the USA in today’s opening Women’s Rugby World Cup match in Marcoussis.

The Ireland players are well aware that this will be their last tournament with Philip Doyle in charge, but Marie Louise Reilly revealed that the head coach’s imminent departure had not been discussed in the build-up.
“It’s only when you hear it and people say it back to you that it kind of hits you because there’s no mention of it,” she said.

“There’s potentially a few players who might be retiring after this as well and in true Irish squad form there’s been nothing made of it. The team and the jersey and everything is paramount.

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“Other things like that will be massive and I’m sure there will be great emotion at the end but at the moment it’s just focus on the game at hand really.”

Another mentor Reilly can appreciate is Ireland men’s coach Joe Schmidt. Both he and assistant coach Les Kiss took in Ireland’s recent warm-up win over Wales in Malahide and the pair also led some training sessions before the squad left for France.

“He was really, really nice,” Reilly said of Schmidt. “Dead sound – just said it how it was, like. If it wasn’t good enough he’d just tell you…’that’s actually not good enough’…’stop’…’go again’.

“It’s stuff that you already know but the way in which he puts it across, and the drills, it just demands more of you as a player in that it’s not good enough to put in a big tackle. You have to pop to your feet, slow that ruck down and your team-mates are going to come in.

“He said that basically your job as a rugby player is to help those people around you, make life easier for those people.”

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.