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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

#WRWC2017 – The #BringIt Bulletin: Issue 3

#WRWC2017 – The #BringIt Bulletin: Issue 3

Put another ‘X’ on the calendar as the countdown hits 17 days to go! In the latest edition of the #BringIt Bulletin, we cover WRWC 2017 news from around Europe and Asia and pick out New Zealand’s Kendra Cocksedge as a player who could light up next month’s tournament.

WHO YA GONNA CALL? RED ROSES!: The resourcefulness of the defending World Cup champions was tested recently when the England Women’s players and management took part in team-building exercises led by ‘Serve On’, a not-for-profit charity providing emergency response both internationally and within the UK.

Alongside Team Rubicon UK, Serve On delivered the training at their site in Chilmark, Wiltshire. Taking a break from the hard grind of the pitch and gym, the Red Roses were immersed in different scenarios and trained in specialist techniques by Serve On’s international rescue team and members of Serve On Salisbury CRT.

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Dan Cooke, IRT operations director with Serve On, said: “They’re really picking it up. They’ve broken into little ‘strike teams’ to go out and solve problems. And thus far, they’ve been looking at technical search equipment, some water safety, rescuing people with throw lines. They’ve also been checking routes, ‘recceing’ areas and doing some trauma and medical training. All of which is quite nice and straightforward. It’s going to get a little more interesting as they get to put those into practice in more kinetic experiences.”

England winger Lydia Thompson, a try scorer against Ireland at Donnybrook in March, commented: “it’s been a journey to say the least! There’s been some really realistic and eye-opening challenges that we’ve been set. That’s great because you never know what’s going to happen over this next journey – you don’t know if the venue’s going to change for some reason or the team’s not quite what you thought they’re going to be.

“So it’s just about being adaptable and let’s go back to what we do best. We’re seeing people bring their strengths and what they do well and lead us, and it’s been very good for learning a lot about what we have got to offer as a team.”

JAPAN RETAIN ASIAN TITLE AHEAD OF DUBLIN TRIP: The Japan Women, who lost two recent trial games to Ireland at UCD, will return to Dublin next month as Asian Women’s champions after wrapping up the title with a comprehensive 60-19 victory away to Hong Kong.

They picked up the last piece of Women’s international silverware on offer before the Women’s Rugby World Cup begins. Their 10-try tally at Kings Park matched their efforts in the previous week’s 58-0 victory on home soil in Odawara. A player who is really catching the eye, centre Riho Kurogi grabbed a first half brace to make it four tries in two games for herself.

Hong Kong are nine places below the 14th-ranked Japanese in the current Women’s World Rankings and they salvage some pride with three tries, including one from second row and captain Chow Mei-nam. However, the visitors were very accurate in attack and their eight other try scorers were Ai Tasaka, Aoi Mimura, captain Seina Saito, Maki Takano, Honoka Tsutsumi, Sachiko Kato, Sakyahi Suzuki and Yuki Oyokawa.

Japan head coach Goshi Arimizu, who will announce his World Cup squad on Sunday week (July 30), said: “(In the second game against Hong Kong) I saw some players showed a quality to play in the World Cup but I also saw some players that won’t be good enough. I will set my focus on how individual players played rather than the team when we review the performance.”

‘CIAO IRLANDA!’ SEND-OFF EVENT FOR ITALY WOMEN IN ROME: Tourism Ireland in Italy, in conjunction with the Irish Embassy in Rome, hosted a special send-off event for the Italian Women’s rugby squad. The event, hosted by HE Bobby McDonagh, Irish Ambassador to Italy, was organised to wish the team well and to raise the profile of the tournament. Officials from the Federazione Italiana Rugby (Italian Rugby Federation), as well as the Deputy Head of Mission from the British Embassy, were also in attendance.
 
The Women’s Rugby World Cup pool stages kick off at Dublin’s UCD on Wednesday, August 9, and the final rounds will be played in Belfast (Queen’s University and Kingspan Stadium) on August 22 and 26.

Tourism Ireland is rolling out its Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign right now, to leverage the tourism benefits of the tournament. The organisation is urging rugby fans and potential visitors everywhere to come for the games and then stay for the ‘craic’ – reminding them that, in Ireland, we love our rugby and we’re prepared to be the perfect hosts for this year’s tournament in Dublin and Belfast.
 
Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Italy, said: “We’re delighted that the Women’s Rugby World Cup is taking place here next month. Our send-off event for the Italian team will help raise the profile of the tournament and the fact that it’s taking place in Dublin and Belfast next month.

“Tourism Ireland is encouraging rugby fans and potential visitors in Italy and other rugby-loving countries to come and join in the electric atmosphere of Dublin and Belfast’s great sporting arenas and explore these beautiful cities as they enjoy the games. Our message is that the island of Ireland is a fantastic place to visit – where they’re guaranteed a wonderful experience and the warmest of welcomes.”

The photograph above includes Ken O’Flaherty, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy (fifth left), Maria Cristina Tonna, Federazione Italiana Rugby (sixth left), HE Bobby McDonagh, Irish Ambassador to Italy (centre), Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland (right) and Onorio Rebecchini, Consigliere Federale (third right), with Italian Rugby Federation officials and other guests.

‘LAS LEONAS’ NOTCH WARM-UP WIN IN LONDON: The Spain Women gained some winning momentum with a 15-7 triumph over an England ‘B’ side at Brunel University today. Two unconverted tries in the first half set them on their way, with the players obviously determined to grasp the last chance to impress head coach Jose Antonio Barrio ahead of tomorrow’s WRWC 2017 squad announcement.

After an even opening at the London venue, Spain made the breakthrough in the 25th minute when lock Berta Garcia touched down following an excellent break by full-back Barbara Pla. They were 10-0 up just four minutes later, Maria Ahis’ well-executed kick playing in her centre partner Amaia Erbina for try number two.

Represented by a group of National Academy players, England ‘B’ had more of the possession and territory in the second half, however they could only muster a late consolation try. Spain made certain of victory when replacement Elisabet Martinez, who captained the Spanish Sevens team at last year’s Olympics, finished off a fine back-line move in the 75th minute.

Barrio’s charges are due to Ireland next week where they are due to train and play against their Irish counterparts at Bandon RFC next weekend. The Ireland WRWC 2017 squad, who begin a four-day training camp at Fota Island next Friday, will be announced by head coach Tom Tierney this coming Monday (11am) at the UCD Student Centre.

ONE TO WATCH – KENDRA COCKSEDGE (NEW ZEALAND): Now the most experienced member of the New Zealand back-line, Kendra Cocksedge was a Black Fern at just 19 and has consistently delivered high-quality performances at half-back. Bouncing back from their 2014 World Cup disappointment, she recaptured her best form to be crowned World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year the following season.

A deft distributor and clever tactician, Cocksedge is one of the game’s most skilful scrum halves and dovetails brilliantly with Kelly Brazier as New Zealand’s first choice half-back pairing. The 29-year-old is a dead-eye goal-kicker, most notably scoring two tries and 20 points in the Black Ferns’ memorable comeback win over England last November. She also touched down during last month’s rematch in Rotorua.

The New Plymouth-born star, who works as a Women’s Rugby Development Officer role with New Zealand Rugby, has played 37 Tests to date and scored 132 points. She originally moved to Christchurch on a cricket scholarship for Lincoln University before being welcomed into the province’s rugby set-up. A Canterbury stalwart and equally comfortable at out-half, she was the first player to score 500 points in the Women’s Provincial Championship.

PRE-TOURNAMENT BUZZ: HANNAH TYRRELL (IRELAND) – “To even have a chance at making a World Cup squad for me is amazing. I was a spectator at the last World Cup. Just to be in this position is phenomenal for me, and hopefully things work out for me, and dreams come true. If I make the World Cup squad, and manage to make a matchday squad, I’d be hoping to put in a good performance for my team-mates. The weeks and months are flying by. Really exciting times ahead, and a lot of us just can’t wait to get started really.

The Women’s Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour has already done wonders for Women’s rugby in Ireland. It has travelled the length and breadth of the island, and is really generating awareness of the tournament and Women’s rugby in general.

“I just think it’s encouraging younger girls to pick up rugby from a younger age, and we can really get some grassroots development going, and hopefully in a few years, we’ll see the results of that with some phenomenal players coming through.”

ELINOR SNOWSILL (WALES) – “It is a huge honour to be selected to represent Wales at a World Cup. Although it will be my third World Cup, it doesn’t get any less special. The opportunity to compete with the best teams in the world is invaluable and the whole experience is something you will never forget.

“The game in Wales is in a developmental period, from grassroots through to international. So as a team, our focus is very much on developing for the next World Cup. Individually, my sole focus is to enjoy the experience, which will hopefully then be reflected in my performances.

“Preparations have been going well. Personally, I’ve been involved in the Sevens set-up over the summer, which has been a great opportunity to fine-tune my skills and improve my fitness base. We’ve had a successful Rugby Europe campaign, which will give a lot of us crossover players confidence going into the World Cup, as well as being a good opportunity to perform under pressure. As a squad, we’ve played some very competitive warm-up matches and are continuing to develop under our coaching staff.”

FIAO’O FA’AMAUSILI (NEW ZEALAND) – “The team is really excited. There’s a lot of talk about the World Cup. There are a lot of sold-out games and the girls are looking forward to that. In general, the team is really excited because we had a great feeling during the June series and can’t wait to get to Ireland and take the field again.

“I never thought that I would get to play in five World Cups. Playing in two was a bonus but I’m very honoured and excited to play in my fifth. Everyone will be a threat but the biggest for us will be England, Canada and the home side Ireland. Being the Women’s Rugby World Cup, you have to play every game like it’s your last.

“(Looking at our pool opponents), we’ve played Canada a few times recently so we know they have a strong pack and are well drilled. They have been constantly improving so will be a big challenge.

“I don’t know much about Wales but they have been improving with more international play in the Six Nations. Hong Kong are an unknown – it will be their first time in the tournament this year. There’s a lot of rugby being played over that side of the world though, so we cannot take them lightly.”

WRWC SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENTS SO FAR: 9

Two New Caps Included In Australia’s WRWC 2017 Squad



France Confirm Squad For WRWC 2017



Defending Champions England Announce WRWC 2017 Squad



New Zealand Squad Revealed For WRWC 2017 Campaign



Canada Select Experienced Squad For WRWC 2017

Uncapped James And Javelet Included In USA’s WRWC Squad

Wales Squad Announced For Women’s Rugby World Cup

Italy Women Include Two New Caps In World Cup Squad

Hong Kong Squad Selected For Women’s World Cup Debut

For more on the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, visit the tournament website – www.rwcwomens.com. Buy your match tickets for #WRWC2017 now on www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wrwc2017 and www.ticketmaster.ie/wrwc2017.

#WRWC2017 – The #BringIt Bulletin: Issue 1

#WRWC2017 – The #BringIt Bulletin: Issue 2