Ireland star Dorothy Wall has reflected on the 2021 Women’s Six Nations campaign which saw her country’s fortunes change dramatically in one week.
Wall experienced a breakthrough season with Ireland this year as she scored three tries in three games in the Six Nations, just a little more than a year on from winning her first cap against Scotland.
Ireland’s fortunes were more of a mixed bag, however, as two good wins against Wales and Italy were balanced out by a heavy loss to France in their second game of the championship.
Wall was speaking after being nominated for the 2021 Zurich Women’s Players’ Player of the Year Award and was largely positive about Ireland’s performances in the Six Nations.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) April 26, 2021
‘It was just a complete 360 from the week before.’
“To be honest, when we regrouped as a team it was a successful season for us. The Welsh game we had 20 camps under our belt, people wanted to play and show what they’re worth against a team and we did,” Wall said.
“The second half we let it get away from us a bit because errors started to creep in – which is probably natural given the lack of game time we’ve had.
“Then there was huge hype around it and it was a good win but it probably should have stayed as a good win rather than something that was talked about as it was. Because leading into the French match they were a very professional outfit and we did not perform to our standards.
“It was just a complete 360 from the week before. As players we knew within our own team what had to happen and what had gone wrong. You also had to weigh up who you’re playing each week so there was a clear difference.
“I think that it was kind of like we were superstars one week and then we were, ‘God, Jesus they’re in a bad way’ the next week. We knew what we had to do and we regrouped.
“There was some errors in the Italian match but we got the win and we won two matches out of three and I think it’s put us into a good place to build into the qualifiers. So overall in my opinion it was a positive experience.”
Dorothy Wall backs Eimear Considine for Player of the Year award.
Wall was nominated for the Zurich Player’s Player of the Year Award alongside Eimear Considine, Stacey Flood and Beibhinn Parsons after a few remarkable performances in a green jersey.
While the 21-year-old will be in with a great chance of picking up the award herself, she believes Ireland fullback Considine is the most-worthy nominee.
“I’d probably go with Eimear [Considine]. I think she was put under a lot of pressure throughout the tournament and she made mistakes but she was generally our last line of defence and most of the time she converted for us,” Wall commented.
“I think her hands are incredible and her kicking and everything. She played a lot of minutes and I think she’s very effective at fullback. I trust her entirely. I think I’d have to go with Eimear.”
Dorothy Wall on the new WXV tournament.
Wall is likely to be a key player for Ireland in the new global women’s tournament which will kick off in 2023, and will feature 16 of the top teams in the world.
The tournament will be played on an annual basis, except for in World Cup years, and will be split into three different tiers. The top tier will include six teams, three from the northern hemisphere and three from the southern hemisphere.
Each tournament will be played in September and October entirely in one location, which will be determined on a yearly basis.
Some have raised concerns that playing a tournament in a country potentially on the other side of the world may be difficult for many women’s national teams, as they are mostly amateur (including Ireland).
World Rugby has announced details of a new annual global women’s 15s competition model and international playing windows that will supercharge the women’s game.https://t.co/9Zc31xwYRw
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 16, 2021
While Wall is excited to play in such a tournament, she acknowledged that it could present an issue for players with more commitments than herself.
“As a college student who just wants to play I’m like, ‘Ah yeah, get me games. This is unreal.’ But when you become an adult I suppose you have different responsibilities like jobs and having to be there to teach kids and work in hospitals. So they’re adversities that girls always have to deal with,” Wall explained.
“I’m sure that might become heightened with more travelling time and being away for longer but for now I think people are looking at it as a positive and then we’ll try to juggle life with rugby when that comes up.”