Sport Rugby

Sunday 17 February 2019

Door open for Briggs but Griggs happy with squad

Ireland head coach Adam Griggs. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Adam Griggs. Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Ireland coach Adam Griggs says the door remains open for former captain Niamh Briggs but for now he is happy to proceed without her.

The Waterford native has not featured since last year's Six Nations and was not named in the 36-strong squad for this year's tournament despite the selection of seven uncapped players.

She has spoken of her disappointment and resolve to play her way back into favour and Griggs says she remains in the hunt, despite missing out this time, as he looks to develop his options.

"Yeah, absolutely, she's in contention, as is every other player playing in Ireland at the moment," he said.

"It's important to give some of the younger players a chance at this level.

"Some of the younger ones that have come through have earned their place through the interprovincial series and then some of their club form as well.

"A couple have been through necessity as well, with injury, but again that opens the door to give them a chance.

Involved

"We still have a good core of players from the last squad we were involved with, they are starting to get a really good feel for the game-plan and styles we want to look to play.

"We got a bit of success with that in the warm-up game against Wales at the weekend.

"That really drove us, it highlighted to our players that what we are trying to do can be successful, it can work as well.

"So, the young ones coming in get the chance to work with the likes of Ciara (Griffin), the Sene Naoupus, the Claire Molloys, who have that experience.

"Of course, it's going to be a work in progress but in the next couple of years we'll definitely see those players shine as well."

The New Zealander wants his team to retain their top-three status in this year's tournament.

"We want to be top three, we finished in the top three last season as well," he said.

"We felt we let a couple of wins slip away from us then, we're certainly looking for some better results."

Irish Independent

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