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Niamh Briggs: Next week will show where Ireland really are


Niamh Briggs believes that Ireland should not be judged off the back of one performance after they were swept aside by a far superior France side.

Ireland approached the game against Les Bleus with plenty of optimism after they crushed Wales in Cardiff the previous weekend, but they were ultimately no match for France as they lost 56-15.

Former Ireland captain Briggs was speaking to RTE after the one-sided encounter at Donnybrook Stadium and argued that the team shouldn’t be judged until after their final Six Nations match.

“We spoke last week beforehand about judging it at the end of their three games as opposed to on the back of each performance,” Briggs said.

“Because you’re never as good as they say you are but you’re never as poor as they say either. There’s got to be a middle ground. Next week will be a big tell.

“It’s about their ability to bounce back and be resilient and fix the things that they can fix. They’re not going to step up to the stars as [Ireland captain] Ciara [Griffin] was saying there in the morning. It’s all about being patient.”


‘This is the start of this squad’

While the heavy defeat to the French will come as a blow to the side after a promising start to the Six Nations, Briggs still believes there are a lot of positives to focus on.

There are plenty of young players in the squad, most notably 19-year-old winger Beibhinn Parsons, and Briggs backed the team to improve as they become more experienced.

“I know [Ireland head coach] Adam [Griggs] has been involved with this group for the last few years, but I just feel that this year, for whatever reason – maybe its the lack of game time, maybe its because they’ve been in so many camps together – but that this is the start of this squad.

“Maybe that’s just the idealist in me, that I would love it. Next week the big thing is how they bounce back.”

Ireland will play either Scotland or Italy in their final game of the 2021 Women’s Six Nations, depending on which side comes out on top in this evening’s game in Glasgow.

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