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McMahon Looks Forward To Opening Weekend

Edel McMahon

Edel McMahon in action at the WXV3 in Dubai (Photo by Christopher Pike - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

The Guinness Women’s Six Nations kicks off this weekend with Ireland on the road to Le Mans in Round 1 to face a formidable French side.

Co-Captain Edel McMahon, who was on media duty at the recent tournament launch, missed the campaign last year through injury. The Exeter Chiefs flanker is keen for the team to build on their performances in the WXV3 in Dubai.

“We’ve got a lot of girls have grown since that campaign to be quite senior players, the likes of Aoife Dalton and Dannah O’Brien, having gone to a successful WXV and had the opportunity to then play in the Celtic Challenge,”

“We’ve seen where we’ve grown from those performances to now. People are actually genuinely just excited to get going and see where we’re at with the rest of teams.”

Like Ireland, who are taking their home games to Dublin, Cork and Belfast, the French also bring international rugby to different locations but always with a boisterous home support.

McMahon knows what it is like to face a buoyant French crowd. In 2022, she played in Ireland’s 40-5 loss that took place in front of a full house at Toulouse’s Stade Ernest-Wallon.

She is aware of how much energy the crowd can give their team, “I got to play there two years ago in Toulouse and that was a full crowd,” McMahon said. “We actually chat about our experiences on the pitch, and you hear quite a lot of noise.

“You kind of zone out of it. You focus more on the game and it’s just background noise. It does help them when they’re on the front foot. It’s just an experience to relish.

“It’s the same when we play in Ireland. The fans get behind us and you actually just feel the momentum that comes with you, so I’m sure the French relish that as well. It’s a cool experience.”