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Ireland's Wall Hits Back At 'Insulting' Stephen Jones Six Nations Notion

Ireland's Wall Hits Back At 'Insulting' Stephen Jones Six Nations Notion
By PJ Browne Updated
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Ireland international Dorothy Wall had hit back at a suggestion by Sunday Times rugby writer Stephen Jones that her side's Six Nations clash with England in Cork this Saturday should perhaps be called off.

"But there must now be some hard thinking to do before England play Ireland in the next series of games at Musgrave Park, Cork," Jones wrote in the newspaper at the weekend following England's 59-3 destruction of Wales.

"It strikes me that the weak Ireland team could face complete humiliation and that the contest with England’s forwards is potentially dangerous.

"It appears that in Ireland, the attitude to women’s rugby has only just departed the era of the horse and cart, and the idea that a number of Ireland’s limited squad have been away playing sevens, is too ridiculous for words. It would be a huge decision not to play the game but there is no combination of England’s top-40 players who would not win by a street."

1 April 2023; Dorothy Wall of Ireland is tackled by Clara Joyeux and Annaelle Deshayes of France during the TikTok Women's Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and France at Musgrave Park in Cork. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

For the first time since 2007, Ireland have lost all three of their opening games in the Women's Six Nations. They were defeated 31-5 by Wales in the opening round, 53-3 by France, and 24-7 by Italy at the weekend.


"It's insulting," back row Wall said in an interview with RTÉ about some of the coverage regarding Ireland in this year's Six Nations.

"It's insulting to what we do every day. It's insulting to how we have to mentally and physically turn up every week, how hard we work, what we analyse, how painful it is after matches that you lose when you know that you aren't good enough.


"There may be some thoughts that we aren't taking ownership of our performances but that couldn't be further from the truth. It hurts us as much as it would any team.


"To even suggest that we wouldn't play a game against England is one of the most insulting things I've ever heard."

Another article in The Telegraph, written by Fiona Thomas, suggested England could inflict a record Six Nations defeat on Ireland. Last week, Thomas published an article making allegations of sexism within Irish rugby.

"And in terms of the record scoreline, why are you even bothering saying that?" said Wall.


"There's still a game to be played. Pre-empting this stuff doesn't help our team, doesn't help Irish women's rugby. Support would be more greatly appreciated."

Wall added that though it may have gone unnoticed, Ireland have made improvements in some areas during the Six Nations.

"We take ownership of our performances so far, and we know it's not good enough," she said.


"With each game we have gotten better in some areas. That may not be obvious to some people but we have our key performance indicators where we can measure how we are week in, week out in the scrum, lineout, and different zones of the pitch. Things have improved and things haven't been up to scratch. We're constantly striving to be better each week."

See Also: Brian O'Driscoll Elated That Father Will Be Handed Overdue Ireland Cap

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