Griggs wants to get Galvin - seen here at the 2017 World Cup - on board. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ireland coach Adam Griggs leaves door open for Louise Galvin to walk through

Griggs has already had talks with Galvin who was a star on the Sevens circuit.

THE DOOR IS ajar and Adam Griggs would like it to swing open.

Ireland’s coach is always on the look-out for talented players to bolster his squad so it came as little surprise to hear he is interested in adding Louise Galvin to his squad.

A former basketball international and star on the inter-county scene with Kerry’s Gaelic footballers, Galvin subsequently went on to win 30 Sevens caps, feature in 96 World Series games, score 22 tries and represent Ireland at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco. She also played for Ireland in the 2017 World Cup and is now retired from Sevens.

“I had a conversation with Louise,” said Griggs. “I know her well from my experience with the Sevens group as well. The message from me was, ‘Go and play your club rugby’, which she had been doing up until lockdown.

“It was very much, ‘Look, get yourself back in rhythm and if you can perform in club rugby, like anyone, you’d be available for selection’. So we’ve had an initial conversation.”

A different kind of chat has been had this week with 18-year-old Beibhinn Parsons who lit up the Six Nations back in spring with superb tries against both Scotland and Wales. Griggs is a fan.

“She’s got that X-factor about her,” he said. “Everyone has seen that now. When you have a player with that X-factor, you want them on your side.

“She’s also very driven and she just wants to make sure she’s an all-round player. Certainly my philosophy for those outside backs is that you don’t just hang on the wing and wait for the ball to come to you. You’ve got to go looking for it. Whether the weather is not great or it’s one of those games that the ball’s not getting there, what can you do to keep yourself from getting involved in the game. Again, reading and understanding where you can offer yourself to benefit the team. That’s something we’re just working on with her at the moment.”

beibhinn-parsons-makes-a-break Ireland's Beibhinn Parsons makes a break against Wales. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Work had already been interrupted by lockdowns before a further interruption arrived this week when three of Griggs’ Ireland squad had to self-isolate after one player returned an inconclusive result in a Covid-19 screening test.

As a result, the Ireland coach had to change his team – removing the player and two close contacts from the side who will meet Italy in Donnybrook tomorrow. To add to the frustration, the player whose initial test was inconclusive has subsequently tested negative and all three players can return to the squad after the Italy match.

“It has been a frustrating seven months, to be honest,” Griggs said. “We’re just grateful that we get to pull on the jersey this weekend and actually get out and play. The message from us is really, finally this weekend we can actually take control of what’s happening. Because like everyone, you sit in limbo for so long it becomes very frustrating and daunting.

“The message this week is, we actually have a chance to take control and that’s what we’ll focus on. Going out and actually performing well on Saturday night.”

One area Griggs is particularly keen to focus on is at the breakdown. “It’s more just fine tuning what we’ve done in the last couple of games that we had.

“The thing for me and with this group, we try and simplify things and do them at 100%. We’ve spoken this week about having quality execution in everything that we do. It’s not necessarily just scoring tries, but it’s the smaller detail about the breakdown.

“Even in terms of our handling and getting on the front foot. Using momentum in the game. That’s something for us as a team that we’re always striving to be a bit better at. Not just fall into a trap of ‘we said we’d do this, so we’re going to continue doing it’. It’s probably the biggest thing we’ve pushed over the last month.

“That decision making and trying to actually play what’s in front of you and what the defensive picture gives you. Rather than sticking to any set plan. From my point of view in coaching, you’ve got to empower the players to do that. Again, that’s what we’ve really tried to replicate at training.”

Ireland - L Delany; L Sheehan, E Breen, S Naoupu, B Parsons; H Tyrrell, K Dane; L Peat, C Moloney, L Djougang, N Fryday, C Cooney, D Wall, C Molloy, C Griffin. Reps: N Jones, K O’Dwyer, L Lyons, B Hogan, H O’Connor, A Hughes, L Muldoon, K Fitzhenry.

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