The 2020/21 season was set to be one of the busiest, and most challenging, seasons in the history of the women’s game in Ireland. That is still the case – but for very different reasons.
A competitive domestic club game lead into a busy November of training and playing as the XVs team targeted three home wins in the Six Nations before building through the summer to peak for the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in September.
In addition, the Ireland Sevens team were looking to once again cement their place on the World Rugby Sevens Series in another year that would see them travel the world representing Ireland.
The season was building nicely until Covid-19 forced the postponement of two Women’s Six Nations fixtures and, now, has forced the cancellation of a historic first summer tour for the women’s XVs, which was scheduled for August.
As the IRFU continues to work with World Rugby, Six Nations and Rugby Europe to rebuild the schedule for this important year for the game IrishRugby.ie, caught up with Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby, Anthony Eddy.
“We were pleased with the way the season was shaping up for the XVs programme. Preparations and the development of the players was going well, and importantly we had some strong performances during the Six Nations.
The onset of Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the season and we are working with World Rugby, Six Nations and Rugby Europe to get the season back on track, in line with public health advice.
Unfortunately, our proposed tour, scheduled for late July/early August, to prepare for the Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification tournament, has had to be cancelled and there is some reshaping to be done on the season schedule to ensure we are in a strong position heading into the World Cup qualification process.
Once we have further details on match schedules and training dates, we will update everyone with a program outlining the recommencement of training camps and gym sessions.
We are all looking forward to getting back to the season, once it is safe to do so.”