The IRFU has announced that Adam Griggs will step down from his post as Head Coach after the November internationals. His place will be taken by Greg McWIlliams, who was an assistant coach to Philip Doyle before moving on to appointments in the USA and with World Rugby in Dublin.
The news comes as no surprise after Ireland’s shock exclusion from the World Cup.
A review will be held to survey a wide range of issues, to be led by the indefatigable Amanda Bennett, who sat on a similar committee investigating the structures of women’s rugby in Wales. Her brief will include the organisation of women’s rugby in Ireland and the factors involved in the national team’s recent demise.
Contrary to the IRFU’s first announcement the enquiry will be independent. Bennett will be joined by Kevin Bowring and Helen Philips to form exactly the same triumvirate as for Wales.
Will they insist that this new report is made public, unlike its predecessor which is still locked in the WRU’s bottom drawer?
France Rugby has announced the names of 31 players to prepare for their three autumn internationals:
Agathe Sochat (Stade Bordelais)
Annaëlle Deshayes (Lyon OU)
Audrey Forlani (Blagnac)
Camille Imart (Stade Toulousain)
Carla Neisen (Blagnac)
Caroline Boujard (Montpellier)
Caroline Drouin (Stade Rennais)
Caroline Thomas (Romagnat)
Céline Ferer (Stade Toulousain)
Chloé Jacquet (Lyon OU)
Clara Joyeux (Blagnac)
Coumba Diallo (Stade Français)
Cyrielle Banet (Montpellier)
Émeline Gros (Montpellier)
Gabrielle Vernier (Blagnac)
Gaëlle Hermet (Stade Toulousain)
Jessy Trémoulière (Romagnat)
Julie Annery (Stade Français)
Laure Sansus (Stade Toulousain)
Laure Touye (Montpellier)
Léa Murie (Stade Toulousain)
Lénaïg Corson (Stade Français)
Madoussou Fall (Stade Bordelais)
Maëlle Filopon (Stade Toulousain)
Maïlys Traore (Stade Toulousain)
Marjorie Mayans (Blagnac)
Morgane Peyronnet (Montpellier)
Pauline Bourdon (Stade Toulousain)
Romane Ménager (Montpellier)
Rose Bernadou (Montpellier)
Safi N’Diaye (Montpellier)
The squad does not lack for experience. The one player with minimal game-time at the highest level is the 19-year-old Chloé Jacquet. But she has already lived through the Tokyo Olympics with the French 7s squad.
Against that the management has adopted a central policy of introducing its younger squad, labelled the ‘Pole’, into training sessions with their senior sisters. This helps to ensure constant renewal and competition for places.
But history tells us that it is experience which most helps to ensure success at the highest level.