Friday 28 October 2016

Niamh: Briggs: We can become the first host nation to win the World Cup

Published 14/05/2015 | 02:30

Captain Niamh Briggs believes the Ireland women's rugby team have a chance of winning the 2017 World Cup
Captain Niamh Briggs believes the Ireland women's rugby team have a chance of winning the 2017 World Cup

Ireland women's rugby captain Niamh Briggs believes that her side have what it takes to win the 2017 World Cup after it was announced that the tournament will be held on these shores for the first time.

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A host nation has never won the women's World Cup but the goal-kicking full-back is adamant that Ireland have what it takes to buck the trend.

"I'm a very ambitious and driven person. I want to win every time I play. I know in the grand scheme of things, it's a very idealistic point of view but every time I go out on the pitch, I believe we can win," Briggs said.

"We've got to develop as many new players as possible in the next couple of years to get them up to international standard and then I don't see any reason why we can't (win it)."

Plans are in place to make Donnybrook Ireland's permanent home ground after floodlight failure in the Six Nations defeat to France at Ashbourne earlier this year signalled the time to move on.

Briggs and her coach Tom Tierney are both hopeful that Test games will be created for the women's team in order to match their closest rivals.

Ireland currently play just five Six Nations games per year but on the back of yesterday's announcement, they are eager to add to that "if financially possible".

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne welcomed the news and maintained that a positive tournament in 2017 would create the platform for a successful bid for the men's World Cup in 2023.

"We'll obviously be judged on our performance in 2017 but at the end of the day, it's a statement of intent on our part," Browne commented.

"It shows we're willing to support World Rugby and its international programme and it also demonstrates that we're a 32-county sport - we can operate across the border as a single unit."

Irish Independent

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