Ireland flyer Beibhinn Parsons would have been better off staying with the XVs team instead of joining the Sevens side, according to former Ireland international Fiona Hayes.
Parsons has played in all three of Ireland's TikTok Six Nations matches this season, however she has only started one match against Italy at Musgrave Park.
After the outstanding Championship that she had in 2021, it was surprising to many that new head coach Greg McWilliams opted not to start Parsons in the first two rounds of the Six Nations.
However, in none of the three matches so far this year has Parsons been at her best. She now joins up with the Irish Sevens squad, alongside a host of other Irish XVs players, as they prepare for the World Series to resume at the end of April.
Speaking on the Six Nations Show, Hayes explained why she wanted Parsons in particular to remain with Greg McWilliams' side.
"I am a bit shocked on that," Hayes said. "I thought if there was one player that could have benefited playing was Beibhinn.
"She looked like her form wasn't quite at the place where she had been last year. Her confidence looked low. Against Italy, we saw she was stripped two or three times; that's very unusual for her.
"I just felt like that she wasn't the explosive player that we've seen."
Hayes pointed to Parsons' lack of form as the main reason for wanting her to remain with the XVs. She felt that the 20-year-old winger needs to regain her confidence through game time.
"It wasn't that other teams are marking her now and her game is readable," Hayes said. "It wasn't that. It was literally that her confidence wasn't in a good place."
Form needs to be considered by the Sevens too
Irish Sevens coach Aiden McNulty has selected Parsons alongside Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall, Anna McGann, Eve Higgins, Brittany Hogan and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe to join up with his squad for the remainder of the Sevens World Series.
While this mass exodus from the XVs squad was expected, Hayes feels that more thought needs to be put in to which players are airlifted out of the squad in future.
"I understand what they've done in the Sevens," Hayes said. "They've had those connections and this has probably been planned since pre-Six Nations.
"I know [Aiden] McNulty has been in contact with Greg all the time. But I definitely thought she's a player that would have benefited staying.
"She would have done a lot for Ireland. She would have built her own confidence back up. Everyone wants to play in this World Series, but it is not very important that they are there.
"Obviously the Sevens are invested money-wise and they have gone with their best team. She would be one of their better players.
"But going forward, I think they are going to have to look at form and how best to integrate these players in and out."
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