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Ivan is wrong to slate Stephanie, says former Ireland rugby captain

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Fiona Coghlan, captain of the Irish women's rugby team

Fiona Coghlan, captain of the Irish women's rugby team

Fiona Coghlan, captain of the Irish women's rugby team

Former captain of the Irish rugby women's team Fiona Coghlan has slammed Ivan Yates' comments about Puskas Goal of the Year Award nominee, Stephanie Roche.

The Newstalk presenter said there is no way Stephanie deserved to win the award and described her inclusion in the final three at last night's awards as "sham amateurism".

However, Fiona, who led the Irish women's rugby team to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, couldn't disagree more.

negatively

"I would like to know what his sporting background is to comment so negatively about Steph's goal," Fiona told the Herald. "If Fifa think it is good enough to be in the top 10 and then for it to be voted into the top three, it says something about the standard of the goal."

Fiona also believes that his comments about her goal are unfair as it took a great amount of skill to score it, regardless of the strength of the Wexford Youth defence.

"The skill level required to do what she did was superb and then the confidence to do it in a game as well," she said.

"Even to do something like that completely unopposed is very difficult. World-class players are backing Steph's goal. When you have the likes of David Luiz - who has just been named on FIFPro XI - backing her, I think they know what they are talking about," she added.

While Fiona has retired from international rugby, she believes that support of women in sport still has a long way to go.

"Women being involved in sport is still in its early stages," she said. "We need people to get out and watch sport not just click for a goal on the internet."

hnews@herald.ie


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