Tierney is buoyant despite defeat by world champions
England 8 Ireland 3
Published 16/11/2015 | 02:30
Head-coach Tom Tierney believes Ireland's Women can win a third Six Nations title in four years in 2016, despite suffering an agonising defeat to England at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, in an historic first autumn international.
A penalty from captain Niamh Briggs inside the last 10 minutes looked to have secured a 3-3 draw, but a late Izzy Noel-Smith try stole victory for the world champions.
Ireland will again travel to the Red Roses, who they have yet to beat on English soil, during the upcoming Six Nations. Tierney praised the Irish display whilst admitting that, in order to retain the Six Nations, Ireland will need a win in England come February.
"It is something we are very aware of, and not shying away from - it is a huge challenge but to be 3-3 with three minutes to go today shows we are not far away. There is short-term disappointment but, in the long-term, we are out to win the Six Nations again and are taking many positives.
"Coming away from home, against the world champions, and with nine new caps getting on the field, shows we are building a competitive squad. We head into the next Six Nations as champions and everyone is out to beat us - that is a different angle we must prepare for but look forward to."
Tierney added that the women joining IRFU's high-performance unit aids future development and raises hopes towards the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup, to be held in Dublin and Belfast: "It is going to raise expectations and put a lot of pressure on players and staff - it is a huge challenge but something that we are relishing."
England - S McKenna; K Mason, C Large, C Clapp (R Laybourn 77), E Scott; LT Mason, R Clarke (V Cornborough 60); E Croker, J Lucas (H Kerr 79), T Taylor; A Scott, H Gallagher (I Noel-Smith 60); M Packer (H Millar-Mills 77), S Hunter (capt).
Ireland - N Briggs (capt); J Deacon, A Donnelly (N Stapleton 56), J Shiels, M Coyne; S Naoupu, L Muldoon (M Healy 56); R O'Reilly (F Reidy 61), C Moloney, A Egan; E Anthony (L Peat 64), C Cooney; S Spence, P Fitzpatrick, H O'Brien.
Ref - Marie Lematte (France).