Fiona Coughlan, Ireland Women’s Rugby Captain on Ireland V England Match


Although the body probably needed a two week break but when you get such momentum from winning your first two games you just want to keep playing.  Despite the win against Wales, there was disappointment within the squad about our performance but ultimately it gave us key aspects to work on going into the England game.

We had a one day camp last weekend to focus on England and how we are going to play against them. Obviously this is a huge game and could be a defining moment of the tournament but we will approach it the same way we approach every game and that is to go out and win it.

Match weeks are normally a bit hectic because you are trying to fit a week’s work into three days.  Thankfully this week I am on mid-term so I get a little more time for rest and recovery. The girls based in England will be delighted for once they don’t have to travel.  I don’t know how the cope with the airport every weekend from December to March.

We will fly out to London on Thursday afternoon, so that evening; we will probably just have a light session in the hotel.  Then Friday will be busy with a team run and a tour of Twickenham and some more meetings.  There are pros and cons to evening games, you can do things at your leisure and get extra rest time but it also gives you more time to think about the game.

There has been much talk about playing in Twickenham after the Men’s game and although it is an amazing opportunity to showcase Women’s Rugby on one of the biggest stages, having played there 10 years ago (lost 55-10), it really is no different than most of stadiums we play in.  We have played in front of large vocal crowds before at our home ground in Ashbourne but also in France where you could have up to 15,000 at a game.  We have no doubt that there will be a vocal Irish support there to cheer us on.