RTÉ confirms live coverage of Ireland women’s Six Nations match against Scotland
Niamh Briggs’s team playing for both championship and Triple crown honours
Ireland captain and fullback Niamh Briggs clears her lines during the Women’s Six Nations match against Wales at St Helen’s in Swansea. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
RTÉ have confirmed they will broadcast Sunday’s Ireland versus Scotland Women’s Six Nations match live from Broadwood stadium, just outside Glasgow (kick-off 1.0pm).
Providing England beat France on Saturday night, any kind of Irish victory will deliver an unexpected second title in three years. They are also going for a Triple Crown.
Should France win, Niamh Briggs’s team will need to rein in a 20-point differential on top of the French margin of victory.
It will be the third live women’s international shown by the national broadcaster since the Grand Slam decider in Parabiago, Italy in March 2013. They also showed last season’s England game in Twickenham.
TG4 covered last year’s World Cup when Ireland finished fourth after losing the semi-final to eventual champions England.
Following the turnover in their entire coaching ticket, along with the retirement of captain Fiona Coghlan, vice-captain Lynne Cantwell and Grace Davitt, expectations of any silverware in 2015 were significantly reduced.
But the results under new coach Tom Tierney, allied by Briggs heading up an evolving on-field leadership, have been remarkable. Italy were beaten in Florence (30-5) before an unlucky 10-5 loss to France in Ashbourne was followed by victory over England (11-8) and Wales (20-0) last Sunday.
It’s also been confirmed that Tierney will remain as Ireland head coach, doubling up as assistant Sevens coach to Anthony Eddy, through to the 2017 World Cup.
A former international scrumhalf, Tierney has juggled three coaching roles this season with Ireland, Cork Constitution and Glenstal Abbey, who reached the Munster schools cup semi-final. That won’t be feasible next season.
“No, can’t do it all next year,” said Tierney. “I’ve a contract with the IRFU up to 2017 so that’s done and dusted.
“With the way things have gone in the short term, with the Six Nations, it gives you confidence that if I am doing it full-time how much more we can get done and how much better these players can get because the talent is there.”
The IRFU are the only union to declare their intent to host the next women’s World Cup, with the pool stages set for UCD campus and finals moving up to Belfast.
The next challenge for Tierney and Ireland is to secure some Test match rugby outside the Six Nations window. As it currently stands, their next game after Sunday is not until February 2016.
“After the Six Nations will be putting a yearly plan in place to ensure we get the best out of these girls, because they deserve the best.”