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Irish Player Reveals Shambolic Preparation Ahead Of Rugby World Cup

Irish Player Reveals Shambolic Preparation Ahead Of Rugby World Cup
Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Ireland's World Cup will end in secluded ignominy: a banal play-off for the curious glory of seventh place. It kicks off at 2pm, while much of the country's eyes will be trained on proceedings at Croke Park.

Irish Rugby's zeal for debacle at World Cups has been evident once again this year, in what has proved to be a deeply disappointing tournament on home soil. Last weekend, former coach Phillip Doyle blasted Ireland's one-dimensional game plan, and a more detailed and damning breakdown comes from Ruth O'Reilly in today's Irish Times.

Her watch has ended: she has left the camp through injury, meaning she has played her final game for her country. She uses her valedictory address to life the veil on the shambolic preparations the squad were subject to ahead of this tournament.

Speaking to Gavin Cummiskey of The Irish Times, O'Reilly reveals that current coach Tom Tierney was audited by the IRFU during a training camp a month before the World Cup. The feedback from the Union was that the players needed to take more responsibility for the attacking strategy.


Here's how it played out from here...

Anyway, a week later Tom horsed out a few emails looking for us to put together our playbook and a dossier on Australia and Japan: Go through all the video analysis, which is a big ask as we are all split up around the country and we were all working and trying to train so were doing this on our time off.

Yes. We actually got our act together, on email, got a little playbook together for Australia and Japan but they were never used. Never discussed as a group.

A week later he was back on looking for us to put together the training plan for the Saturday session to see what attack options we wanted to run against France. And he wanted that the following day.

From here, O'Reilly did the natural thing: she responded in a group email that this was the coaches' job, not the players'.

The response from Tierney? O'Reilly was told not to attend training that weekend. It was at this moment, according to O'Reilly, that Tierney lost the dressing room, if he had not lost it before then.


We urge you to read the full interview: it's an extensive summary of the issues facing women's rugby in this country, and on a busy sporting weekend, it's important the squad's story doesn't get lost.

Read it in full here.

See Also: Ulster's New Signing "Lost 14 Kilos In 13 Days" In Battle Against Leukaemia Last Summer

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