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Rejuvenated Briggs relishing new role

 

By Cian Tracey

Even at 33, and into her 10th season playing international rugby, Niamh Briggs is still learning.

Yet it very nearly didn't get to this point as two career threatening injuries saw the veteran contemplate hanging up the boots.

Now she finds herself in a new position and pulling the strings for an Ireland team that is trying to reinvent themselves under the stewardship of Adam Griggs.

Making the switch from out-half to full-back has added to Briggs' rejuvenation and, while her role has changed, her desire to succeed has never wavered.

"It's like a new lease of life," the Waterford native admits.

"I'm learning loads. Having been out for so long and then coming back into a new position, it was almost like my first cap again.

"I definitely fell out of love a bit with the game after the World Cup. I wasn't sure if I was going to continue playing. To come back and to come into the 10 jersey is really exciting."

Briggs had a brief stint at out-half back around the time she made her debut in 2008, but the game has moved on a lot since those days.

The fact she only got back running in December has meant that there was some rustiness.

"I think every game has been a bit better," she maintains. "I'd love to be fitter and sharper in terms of rugby but I'm using this one now for what it is."

Briggs is in her new role again tomorrow as Ireland look to maintain their good run against Scotland.

"They've had some dark days," she adds.

"In terms of them as a squad, and where women's rugby was in Scotland, but they're on the right track now."

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

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