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New Captain Griffin Ready To ‘Lead From The Front’

New Captain Griffin Ready To ‘Lead From The Front’

Captain Ciara Griffin says it is ‘a fresh start’ for the Ireland Women’s squad with a new head coach in Adam Griggs and a number of new faces in camp, as they continue preparations for Saturday week’s Six Nations opener against France.

Following yesterday’s busy launch in London, it is now just over a week until the 2018 Women’s Six Nations kicks off and the anticipation is building ahead of what is set to be one of the most fiercely-contested Championships ever.

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Last year was a vintage year for England who beat runners-up Ireland to the Grand Slam, winning their first Six Nations title since 2012. The girls in green are determined to bounce back from a disappointing Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign, with plenty of excitement surrounding a new-look side that is now coached by Adam Griggs and captained by Ciara Griffin.

Attending the tournament launch for the first time, back rower Griffin, who only turned 24 earlier this month, said: “There’s nine new girls who have come into the squad and they’re doing really well, putting their hands up for jerseys which is what we need. There’s great excitement in the squad and we’re looking forward to the start of the Six Nations.”

Griffin, who lined out at number 8, was one of 25 players who got game-time in Ireland’s 27-19 warm-up win away to Wales last Sunday. it was a solid start for the new regime, and the Kerry woman, who is nicknamed ‘Junior’, has been impressed by what some of the newer players have brought to the set-up.

“It was a good win, each win is a nice win. It was positive for us and it was nice to try new things and new combinations. It’s great to see the new girls getting the experience. It’s great doing it in training, but it’s up another level, at a higher tempo, in a (training) match.

“There’s a few exciting backs that have come in, you have the likes of Claff (Michelle Claffey) and Meg (Williams). They’re doing really well, and in the pack you have the likes of Nichola Fryday who is really coming into herself. She was there last year but wasn’t selected for the Six Nations. She’s doing a good job as well.”

Asked about being appointed captain and what sort of leader she is, Griffin admitted: “It’s a brilliant honour. It’s been a dream to play in the green and to represent your country, but to be asked to captain such an amazing bunch of girls is just out of this world. It’s a massive honour for me, I’m very humble with it, and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I’m not changing much (in my game as captain). It’s the way I play, I’m a person of few words – I speak when I have to speak. I lead by example, I’ll go out and play my heart out. It’s about leading from the front, that’s what I plan on doing.”

Meanwhile, Six Nations Chairman Pat Whelan is anticipating a Women’s Six Nations Championship to remember, stating: “The Women’s Six Nations is becoming more popular every year and we are looking forward to some top class rugby from these gifted players.

“As witnessed during last year’s Championship and during the Women’s Rugby World Cup in the summer, the Women’s game becomes more and more of a spectacle every season, with some dynamic players throughout each of the teams.”

Last year’s Women’s Six Nations was a thrilling spectacle and 2017 saw a huge increase in interest in the Women’s game, meaning that this season’s tournament will be more widely available than ever, with matches shown live on TV or streamed online.


France Women v Ireland Women, Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, Saturday, February 3, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time – Buy Match Tickets

Ireland Women v Italy Women, Donnybrook, Sunday, February 11, 1pm – Buy Match Tickets

Ireland Women v Wales Women, Donnybrook, Sunday, February 25, 3pm – Buy Match Tickets

Ireland Women v Scotland Women, Donnybrook, Sunday, March 11, 1pm – Buy Match Tickets

England Women v Ireland Women, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Friday, March 16, 5.30pm – Buy Match Tickets