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Rugby is about skill, not hair and make-up, says Irish captain Fiona

THE captain of the Irish women's rugby team has said the game is about skill, and not "hair and make-up".

Fiona Coghlan's team demolished Kazakhstan on Saturday to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.

They previously defeated the mighty All Blacks who haven't been beaten in the tournament for more than two decades.

Coghlan made her remarks when asked about media coverage of women's rugby which focuses on players' looks and beauty regimes.

"I don't look too much into it, I suppose from having no coverage, any sort of coverage is good," she said.

"At the end of the day we are sports people and we want to be spoken about how we played on the pitch, not anything else.

"It's good when journalists write about our skill as opposed to our hair and make-up."


Her comments came ahead of her squad's semi-final clash on Wednesday with England, which will be the furthest any Irish team has progressed in a rugby World Cup.

The side beat Kazakhstan 40-5 in the quarter-finals held in France on Saturday.

As well as the victory over New Zealand the side also defeated the USA in their opening game.

Their success has resulted in unprecedented coverage for the side who are confident that a final spot is within their grasp.

Coach Philip Doyle's team previously beat England on their way to the 2013 Six Nations Grand Slam, although they were defeated 17-10 by the old rivals at Twickenham earlier this year.

"It's all about recovery and preparation for our next match, we're focusing on getting the game plan correct," Coghlan said.

"We had the right one in place against New Zealand and I think we took the game beyond what they were expecting of us. It was very controlled but the result was magical," said Coghlan, who also works as a teacher.

The captain has been playing rugby for 11 years after taking up the sport in college.

Speaking on RTE radio she said there has been a growth in popularity for the sport in the last number of years.

"We have seen an increase but probably not as much as we would like. It's going in the right direction but we need to get the profile up and more numbers involved."