There was an in-house training match for Ireland Women today as they continued preparations for Women’s Six Nations and the qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2021.
“Waking up this morning to the fog and frost, we didn’t really know what the game conditions would be,” said out-half Hannah Tyrrell. “But it was really nice to get a hit out and get some match minutes over 80 minutes – we haven’t had too many chances to do that.”
“We went out there and enjoyed it, but it was fiercely competitive. Everybody wants to prove themselves, fit into our systems and stake a claim for the jersey. The passion was there and the drive was there.
“There’s a good group of girls there training pretty well and the Six Nations will be here before you know it.”
For Adam Griggs, it was a chance to assess his selection options in a match environment and reenforce some positive messaging.
“It was important to give the girls some game time,” said Ireland’s Head Coach. “There’s only so much training that you can do and while it’s been very much game based over the past six weeks, putting them out there 15 v 15 to play for 80 minutes gives them another level of competition.”
“We asked the players to show us their point of difference – why they’re in the squad in the first place and we’re pretty happy with most of the results. What a player does well is what elevates them and makes them stand out to a coach.
“Of course, there are always work-ons but those things can continue in the background as long as you’re still showing your X-factor.”
Ciara Griffin spoke live on Irish Rugby’s IGTV today about how the squad have been able to gel in facing the challenges of 2020. That didn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of bite in today’s session.
“On the Friday night of this week’s camp, we spoke about the difference between working hard and being a competitor,” Griggs says. “We know the girls work hard and when you put the best of the best in Ireland against each other, you want to see it bring out the true competitor in them.”
“Rugby is never perfect and at times you just have to grit your teeth, get stuck in, want to beat your opposite number and do better than them. We looked for that bite and that competitiveness and it certainly started to show.
“We’ve ridden the ups and downs of the COVID-19 roller coaster, had test matches pulled away and continued to train and now we’re in a pretty good place heading into January.
“We’re feeling pretty confident that we’ve covered a lot of the detail we wanted to and that we should be good to go.”