Gerry Thornley: IRFU must shoulder some blame for state of women’s rugby in Ireland

It must be acknowledged and acted upon that the women’s game is different to men’s

Ireland’s Linda Djougang makes a break to score a try during the match against Scotland. Photo: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Ireland’s Linda Djougang makes a break to score a try during the match against Scotland. Photo: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Watching the distressed female Irish players trying to console each other after Saturday’s heartbreaking, last-ditch defeat by Scotland in Parma which wrenched World Cup qualification aspirations from their grasp made for a very uncomfortable, almost invasive, watch. It was a relief when the RTÉ cameras panned back to the studio.

Watching Sene Naoupu embracing a tearful Ciara Griffin, it’s a wonder that Naoupu had kept her own emotions under control. Representing Ireland at a World Cup in her native New Zealand would have been such a fitting finale to her stellar career.

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