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Irish ladies face long lay-off after Six Nations

 

Frustrated: Head coach Adam Griggs
Frustrated: Head coach Adam Griggs

By Cian Tracey

The next eight months will feel like an awful long time for the Ireland women's team, unless they can finish their Six Nations campaign with a strong winning performance against Wales tomorrow.

As of yet, no games have been scheduled until November, which further highlights the difficulties the current squad face.

Yesterday, they took to the pitch as a group for the first time since last Satur­day's thumping home defeat to France.

That lack of pitch time is not going to change any time soon, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating for a group of play­ers who are so eager to learn and a coach­ing ticket who desperately want them to fulfil their potential.

"You see us making similar mistakes, we address them but we are not able to pick them up when they become natural and we fix them and move on from them," head coach Adam Griggs concedes.

"We learn some­thing, we get it right and then we forget about something else.

"We just have to keep moving on and keep some consistency across the board, but it is a challenge."

Wales haven't exactly set the tourna­ment alight either and there is an accept­ance across the board that everyone else is chasing England and France out in front.

"We have played Wales a good few times, we play them every pre-season, so we know what they are about. Hopefully we can exploit them," Griggs says.

"I don't think this is a time to make dras­tic changes. We have to make sure we have some consistency with selections and make sure combinations are there and we are looking to the future.

"This squad and the whole squad is really about looking towards to the future."

Seventeen-year-old Beibhinn Parsons makes her first Six Nations start on the wing. The hugely exciting prospect will need help from those around her as she looks to make her mark.

A big performance from the pack is non-negotiable but they can at least call on plenty of experience in the back-row, with skipper Ciara Griffin and veterans Claire Molloy and Claire McLaughlin well capable of getting the edge on Wales up front.

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