Tuesday 12 December 2017

Win over Black Ferns sums up spirit of Irish – Foley

Munster coach believes World Cup squad's brilliant displays can inspire all in sport

Munster coach Anthony Foley has been impressed by the performances of the Irish women's World Cup team in France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Munster coach Anthony Foley has been impressed by the performances of the Irish women's World Cup team in France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

John Fallon

New Munster head coach Anthony Foley says that he will have no hesitation in using Ireland's win over New Zealand in the Women's World Cup this week as a classic example of what can be achieved when a squad put their mind to a task.

Foley, whose sister Rosie is a former Irish international who won 39 caps, said that the shock success was an inspiration to everybody involved in sport and he hopes they go on and lift the crown.


Foley said that such victories, not unlike some of the epic wins that he achieved with Munster, should be used to show other players how to achieve glory.

"It's brilliant, they've stuck so well together. They're obviously a coming side, they've built off a Grand Slam," said Foley.

"But to beat the Black Ferns in the manner they did with the mentality that they had towards the end of the game, it shows that they are a side that can go all the way and not be afraid to win it.

"I've seen that determination in many a men's side, but unfortunately in the past we've fallen at some stages as well. But it's there in Irish rugby, it's not just the men's game that has it, it's in all aspects of it.

"There's a lot of excitement around rugby in Ireland, God bless it, you would wish them all the best for their next game against Kazakhstan and you would hope that they can cement a good seeding for the semi-final.

"Once you're in a semi-final all bets are off – anybody can beat anybody on a given day," added the Munster coach.

Foley said his squad was coming together nicely for the start of the season with the likes of signing Robin Copeland settling in well, while former Brumbies centre Andrew Smith arrived in Ireland yesterday but has yet to train with the squad.

With pre-season games against Gloucester and London Irish in the coming weeks, Foley expects his side to hit the ground running against Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro12, while the likes of Irish international Donnacha Ryan is back in training, having missed out on the latter part of last season through injury.

The former Irish captain, who was overlooked for the job when Rob Penney was appointed two years ago, but who has since served as forwards coach, said yesterday that the start of the new season can't come quick enough. He admitted that the job is already consuming him 24/7 but he is loving every minute of being in charge of his native Munster. "It's everything I expected it would be. It's a handful, it's something that you think about 24/7 and it's important that you're clear on what you're doing, you're clear on communication.

"There's a lot of people now that are working within the group. We've obviously had a massive overhaul of our back-room staff during the year. As a group we've changed and it brings a lot of freshness and a lot of excitement around the place.

"We're busy, it's like a phoney war at the moment. Everybody's primed and can't wait for the season to start, we are anxious to get into it and see where we stand. We're pretty much looking forward to it and trying to find out after last season where can we go to this season.

"The last time we won a trophy was in 2011, there's a bit of time between lifting trophies. But every team going into the Guinness Pro12 will be thinking the same thing and it's the same with the Champions Cup.

"They'll all be trying to come out and win the competition. We'll be the same, we've a very good squad and we'll be doing everything in our power to win a trophy this year."

Irish Independent

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