World Cup Review
So the World Cup has ended with New Zealand beating England in the Final on Saturday night 41-32. This World Cup was of course a home World Cup for Ireland after they had won the rights to stage this tournament in 2015.
The three venues that were used were UCD, Queens University and The Kingspan Stadium which hosted the Final and a number of playoff games. This tournament promised so much from an Irish perspective but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. Ireland with their 8th place finish will have to qualify for the 2021 tournament.
Looking back to what happened with Ireland, It will not be a World Cup that they will look back on with great admiration. This was the World Cup where Ireland were meant to move on from winning the 2015 Six Nations. There performance in 2014 in France was a sign the tide was turning but in this campaign all those good works seem to have unravelled.
Where to now for all the players who have worked so hard over the past few years, Tom Tierney has already stepped down as head coach and a few players have already stepped away from the International game.
Maz Reilly , Ruth O Reilly and Ailish Egan have retired from playing with a few more players expected to make their decisions known in the coming weeks. The effects of this campaign will be felt for the next few seasons because the IRFU need to step up to the plate and decide what direction they want to take women’s rugby into the future.
The expected review that will take place will have some extremely tough questions to ask and answer like who will the new head coach be? , what do they want to achieve over the next World Cup cycle ?
All these questions need to be answered and then they can reset the clock and start again. Player dept has been an issue that will also need to be addressed by the Union. The playing structure will need to be revamped like the AIL has been.
There is a need for more teams to be brought to the table to help create a new league with more competition. The interprovincial series will need to take on a more significant role in player recruitment and development.
Time now for the IRFU to seriously look after a team they brought under their umbrella only a few short years ago. Results didn’t go according to plan but since 1987, results haven’t exactly gone to plan for the Irish men’s team either.
This World Cup did plenty to bring women’s sport to the front and back pages of newspapers and highlight all the great work being done across all 12 competing nations. First things first, a review and then hopefully we can see the fruits of that review being put into practice.
Don’t let what has been a terrific two weeks go astray and put this to one side like has been done before , action is needed but action is needed now and not a few years down the road!!
Cian Mc Gibney