Saturday 23 September 2017

Sevens stars back in Ireland fold

The calm after the storm as Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrrell are parachuted straight back into Ireland’s Six Nations starting XV after their controversial trip to Las Vegas two weeks ago for a Sevens tournament. (Stock image)
The calm after the storm as Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrrell are parachuted straight back into Ireland’s Six Nations starting XV after their controversial trip to Las Vegas two weeks ago for a Sevens tournament. (Stock image)
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

The calm after the storm as Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrrell are parachuted straight back into Ireland's Six Nations starting XV after their controversial trip to Las Vegas two weeks ago for a Sevens tournament.

All told, it was an unnecessary distraction for Tom Tierney's side but the manner in which the players reacted to eke out a crucial win over France last time out was admirable.

The issue has been put to one side for now as Ireland look to set up a Grand Slam showdown against England on St Patrick's Day.

It says a lot about how crucial the trio are to both codes that Naoupu, Miller and Tyrrell are immediately recalled despite the performances of those who deputised in their absence.

"I was told the week of the game that I would be going to Vegas," Tyrrell explained.

"I'm a contracted Sevens player. For me, that was it then. My mind was set on helping the team do the very best we could.

"We're on the World Series and we're trying to qualify for the Sevens World Cup next year and stay on the World Series as well. It was a really important event.

"We weren't really expecting that much media from it. But look, any coverage for women's rugby can only be a good thing.

"Hopefully we get a bit of media coverage this weekend and everyone sees us put everything out on the field."

Tyrrell and her two team-mates have had limited time to switch their focus again to Wales on Saturday but it's a task that she has done plenty of times in the past and is comfortable with.

"The game is different in some ways but at the end of the day, it's still rugby," the former Dublin footballer said.

"It's just about making sure that when I come back to 15s that I know the set-piece moves and positioning. I find it really easy so I'm very lucky."

With regard to any potential unrest within the camp, Tyrrell insisted: "I wasn't really talking to many of them, bar just a couple of good luck messages as we headed off.

"I think the girls understand the position that we're in. They realise that we are contracted Sevens players and that we have a job to do with Sevens."

Now that the issue has been put to bed, there is a Grand Slam there to be won.

Ireland Women (v Wales) - K Flood; H Tyrrell, J Murphy, S Naoupu, A Miller; N Stapleton, M Healy, L Peat, L Lyons, A Egan; S Spence, M-L Reilly; C Griffin, C Molloy, P Fitzpatrick (capt). Reps: C O'Connor, I Van Staden, R O'Reilly, C Cooney, N Fryday, L Muldoon, N Caughey, M Coyne.

Irish Independent

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