| 10°C Dublin

Griffin prepares to bow out at 27 with her head held high

Close

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin is tackled by Catie Benson of USA during the Women's International friendly at RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin is tackled by Catie Benson of USA during the Women's International friendly at RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin is tackled by Catie Benson of USA during the Women's International friendly at RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin has faced some tough questions over the last couple of weeks.

The no-nonsense flanker has handled herself with poise dealing with the media while all around her the house of cards comes tumbling down.

A natural leader, Griffin has always had the respect of her teammates, and when she retires from international rugby at 27 following Saturday’s Test against Japan, she will leave behind a huge void that will not be easily filled.

Ireland’s shock World Cup qualifier exit accelerated her decision and while she has been part of a player group who have accepted their fair share of the blame, it seems deeply disappointing that she bows out under these circumstances.

“Look, it has been tough, but it’s part and parcel of it,” the Kerry woman said of the last few weeks.

“This pandemic has thrown so many different things at us that we had to learn to be resilient.


“But I wouldn’t say it has taken a mental toll on me because I have had a very good support unit around me in terms of my squad mates, my family, my friends.

Rugby Newsletter

Sign up to 'The Collision' for a free weekly update from Rugby Correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor and the best writing from our expert team. Issued every Friday morning.

This field is required

“It has just been part of the journey. To be honest, it has shaped my last few months and that’s fine, but I would hope to be remembered for some of my mental toughness and resilience.

“You are doing your best for the women’s game and you want to put the best foot forward for the women’s game, you’re doing everything you can for it.

“That’s something I have tried to do in my years of playing and particularly in the last few months.”

That resilience is something that has been both appreciated and admired by Griffin’s teammates, as she has always been the epitome of a wise head on young shoulders.

“Everyone is kinda shocked I am 27, but I’ll tell you, I feel a lot older, don’t worry,” she smiled.

“I think it comes from my upbringing, my family. I was given responsibilities at a very young age from my parents on the farm, and from my granddad and nana.

“It has just shaped me into the person I am. I very much look at the bright side of things, much to people’s detriment at times, I always try to look at the positive side of any negative.

“It’s something I have worked on a lot myself. I think I have drawn on that a lot in the last few months, last few years. It has helped me keep going.”


Most Watched





Privacy