Rugby

Ireland women's rugby crisis: "The whole game is completely dismantled"

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

08:05 20 Mar 2019



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Only five years on from a historic Grand Slam, things are not going well for the Ireland women's national rugby team.

Adam Griggs' side finished bottom of the 2019 Six Nations. The only win came against bottom-placed Scotland and Ireland are now 10th in the World Rankings. Indeed, they are also behind non-Six Nations Spain now.

It also follows a disappointing World Cup showing on home soil in 2017.

But what has gone so wrong so quickly and what are the remedies to reignite women's rugby in Ireland?

Grand Slam-winning coach Philip Doyle and former captain Fiona Steed joined us to discuss.

"We are going backwards"

"The performance has been poor and I think that was epitomised on Sunday [vs Wales]," said Steed.

"I was hoping for a result and even if they'd scraped a result with a poor performance, I would have been happy. But they got neither."

And Doyle feels much of the problems stems from the 15s vs 7s debate.

"It is an Olympic sport and they are going to go for qualification," he said of the 7s.

"But unfortunately, it's been totally at the detriment of the 15s. We've asked for a technical review after the World Cup two years ago and we got a three-point aim for the next World Cup.

"One of them was to finish Top 3 in the Six Nations. Well, that's obviously gone flat on its head straight off. So the big question for me is the technical director of the women's side is Anthony Eddy. The whole game for me is basically dismantled and where is he on this point? Where are we going here? We've asked this a couple of years ago again, for direction. The technical direction is just non-existent as far as I can see. We are going backwards."

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Fiona Steed Ireland Ireland Women's Rugby Team Off The Ball Philip Doyle Rugby Rugby Union Six Nations Women's Rugby Women's Six Nations

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