Monday 23 July 2018

Tierney refuses to speculate on Ireland future


A disappointed Alison Miller, left, and Ailis Egan of Ireland. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
A disappointed Alison Miller, left, and Ailis Egan of Ireland. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Orla Bannon

Tom Tierney refused to speculate on his future after another setback for Ireland at this World Cup against Australia, but accepted his side have "performed poorly" throughout the tournament.

Criticism cannot be laid at any one person's door after what appears to have been a collective malfunction, but scrutiny will inevitably fall on the head coach, who confirmed his three-year contract expires in December. Asked if he would lead the team into the Six Nations in the spring he responded: "I have a review after this. I'm on a break for a couple of weeks and I'm contracted to the IRFU for another while yet, so we'll see where that takes me."

Asked if he wanted to stay on, Tierney replied: "I have a review and we'll see where we go."

Saturday's seventh-place play-off against Wales now assumes huge importance after yesterday's 24-36 loss in Belfast. Ireland need to win to secure automatic qualification for the next World Cup - the very least the hosts need to be extracting from a bitterly disappointing tournament.

Paula Fitzpatrick bristled when asked if she'd rather pack up and go home. "Absolutely not, there is still a game to play," she said. "There's plenty of people who would kill to be playing at a World Cup, players who have missed out through injury and selection, so definitely not. We don't want to go home in any way shape or form.

"Whoever we face we'll throw absolutely everything we have into it. That's the way we're built, that's the way we're designed and have trained to play.

"We've spoken about leaving the jersey in a better place and we have to leave it so the next generation coming through have a chance to play at a World Cup as well. We are a quality Six Nations side. We haven't performed in this tournament but we need to be at the World Cup."

Irish Independent

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