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Juggling challenges no issue for Fitzhenry


By Cian Tracey

In the space of a week at the end of January, Katie Fitzhenry went from playing in 30-degree heat in Sydney to freezing conditions in Dublin - such is life when you are double-jobbing between sevens and 15s.

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Sevens is on the back burner as Fitzhenry shifts her focus to Ireland's Six Nations campaign, and her return against Italy a fortnight ago brought a new edge to the back-line.

Contracted to the full-time sevens programme, the Wexford native is re-adjusting to the bigger code and the challenges that come with that.

The squad reconvened in Dublin yesterday morning and went through their one pitch session of the week in Donnybrook before the captain's run today.

It's a limited timeframe in which to fine-tune the game- plan ahead of the clash against Wales tomorrow, and that poses difficulties.

"No, I don't think of it like that," Fitzhenry explained. "It'd be great to have more sessions within the week but that's not how it is or how it can be, so for me it's good to just come and get this session at a high intensity.

"We're all working well together and as long as that happens we're in a good place.

"I came in quite late to the set-up so training weeks and stuff have changed for me. Things have been slightly different but juggling it has been fine.

"We both play rugby in the sevens and 15s, so for me it's been quite an easy transition. The space seems to narrow up a lot in the 15s, but you get used to that fairly rapidly."

After a poor start in France, Ireland bounced back against Italy but will have to be better against Wales tomorrow (3pm).

IRELAND WOMEN: K Flood; M Williams, K Fitzhenry, S Naoupu, C McLaughlin; N Briggs, A Hughes; L Peat, C O'Connor, L Lyons; O Fitzsimons, N Fryday; C Griffin (capt), C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick. Reps: C Moloney, L Feely, F Reidy, A McDermott, E McMahon, N Cronin, M Claffey, H Tyrrell.

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