Monday 23 September 2019

Griggs excited about teenager Parsons' ability ahead of debut

Ireland women’s coach Adam Griggs. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland women’s coach Adam Griggs. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland head coach Adam Griggs has no fear about handing a potential debut to 16-year-old Beibhinn Parsons in the first of two November Tests against USA at Donnybrook on Sunday (1.0).

The Ballinasloe flyer will become the youngest player to be capped by Ireland in a senior international in the modern era and Griggs is excited about her potential.

"Anyone who has watched her play over the past few months will have seen her physical capabilities and how much she has imposed herself at U-18 level," he enthused.

"I was lucky enough to have her through the U-18 Sevens, that's where she really stood out to me. I think in the last Home Nations tournament she scored 12 tries.

"That was an indicator, that physically, she looked like she could really challenge our senior players.

"The idea was to bring her in as a development player and see how she copes physically first, but what she has shown in the past four camps is an understanding of the game.

"While it's not completely all there right now, this is an experience I don't think you can buy. She has certainly earned a spot on the bench. Hopefully if things go well, she can get on the field and show us what she has got."

Griggs confirmed that he sees Parsons as a potential winger or full-back and while she will not be thrown into the deep end, the Ireland boss believes she is ready to make the considerable step up, despite her age.

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"She is going to cover the back-three... looking at what she brings right now, she could definitely be in midfield to wing, or a back-three player," Griggs added.

"Things like reading and understanding the game, that's her challenge at the moment to work through, but at 16 years old, you expect that.

"It's about putting her in that situation where she can come on in the back-three, she won't have to make as many decisions. It's about showing what she has with ball in hand and really making sure the inside players set her up to show what she can do."

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