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'It's been a difficult period for everyone involved and no different to myself'

Adam Griggs has one more game left as Ireland Women head coach.

Griggs has been in charge since November 2017.
Griggs has been in charge since November 2017.
Image: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO

THE NEW BOSS was sitting up in the Anglesea Stand watching on as the current boss’ Ireland team went about putting a little bit of their World Cup Qualifier heartbreak behind them.

It was a rousing performance from Ireland in their 20-10 win over the US last night and you’d love to know what incoming head coach Greg McWilliams made of it all as he sat alongside Anthony Eddy – the man who has made the headlines this week – assessing some of the players he will be working with over the next few years.

Adam Griggs, meanwhile, now has just one game left as Ireland head coach, with Japan to visit the RDS next Saturday in what will be his farewell after four years in the job.

The New Zealander is moving on to a role as IRFU Provincial Talent Coach for Leinster as McWilliams takes over the Ireland gig.

“It’s been a difficult period for everyone involved in the squad and no different to myself,” said Griggs last night after Ireland’s victory.

“I’ve obviously had to take time to reflect on what has been and the work I have put into the group and like anything, you’ve got to take learnings from failure, and that’s something I’ve looked at.

“For us as a group, we really hit it front-on in terms of what we weren’t successful at in the Qualifiers, and what we wanted to get out of this block. While I am stepping down, I really felt there was a point to prove for myself with the group, but also with the group to play well, so we’ve all been really motivated by that.”

You’d also love to know exactly what Griggs has made of the furore this week following Eddy’s comments on Monday.

The majority of his players united behind hooker Cliodhna Moloney after she called out Eddy’s comments on social media, leading to Eddy offering the squad an apology.

“She’s a human being and she has her opinions and she’s free to speak those,” said Griggs when asked if he supported Moloney’s “slurry” comment. “She took a course of action she thought was needed and the players have rallied around her really well.

adam-griggs-speaks-with-ciara-griffin-before-the-game Griggs with Ireland captain Ciara Griffin. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“In terms of getting the message out there and what she wants to discuss brought it into the spotlight, we would never hold anyone back from speaking their minds and having their opinions.

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“That’s the world we live in and I’m glad that the players have shown the support they have for her and it shows that this is one squad who are united and committed to their common goal of being better rugby players for their country.”

There has been lots of discussion this week about what Irish women’s rugby has been getting wrong in recent years but Griggs insists he hasn’t felt a lack of support from the IRFU in recent years.

He says he has had adequate resources.

“Yeah, absolutely. I know there’s a lot going around at the moment but in terms of structures and frameworks and things like that, that’s certainly above what I have been tasked to do, and so my job – in terms of looking after this team and preparing for them for test matches – has been spot on. I’ve got a really good coaching team with me.

“We’ve pushed the players as hard as we can to make sure that they understand the level that’s required of Test match rugby, and that’s ultimately what we’re focused on.

“Of course, it’s been a challenging period, but at the same time I’d like to believe through the group that I’ve been involved with, I hope they have taken plenty from me coaching them and hopefully I have made them better players, even if it’s just a small moment for them.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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