The IRFU have today given a much needed boost to the women’s game after they revealed a plan to try and help Ireland gain qualification for the 2021 World Cup. They will have two Internationals in November 2019. They will have a National camp in August. This will hopefully set them up for the games that will come in November and the 6 Nations of 2020.
It is good to see the IRFU put this together and Adam Griggs and his coaching staff can now put a plan together as they will have much needed time together in August and again in November. This plan is 2 years in the making after a poor showing at a home World Cup alongside some poor displays in the last two 6 Nations under Adam Griggs.
Yes there has been a large turn over in players in the past few seasons with some really experienced players making way for less experienced players but you still have a core group of leaders like Claire Molloy, Lindsey Peat and Ciara Griffin. These are the players that will hopefully lead Ireland to the 2021 World Cup.
The games are against Italy and Scotland and an as yet unnamed opponent. Ireland will know that the performances of the past few months just won’t cut it at the very top level. They will have 9 training camps before the serious stuff of qualifying will kick off.
The hope with this plan is that it won’t just be a flash in the pan situation where these games have only been put into the schedule for this season. There has to be room for this set up to continue beyond the qualifying campaign of late 2020. The IRFU have committed to this plan and the appetite is there from the players to try and get to the 2021 World Cup.
With the positive impact that we have seen from the recent Women’s World Cup in France, let’s hope that the appetite for women’s sport will continue into the future. I am not trying to compare like for like because rugby still has some distance to go to gain the same recognition as Football.
The coverage of women’s sport is beginning to gain real momentum and will only get stronger as the years roll on. I have been a strong supporter of the Irish women’s rugby side since 2013 and I can now count a number of that grand slam winning side as friends. Let’s hope that this 13 month plan for World Cup qualification is a permanent fixture. Roll on the camp in August and the pair of games set for November….