Japan’s women team prepare for Ireland RWC 2017

Came across this superb interview with Japan’s women skills coach, Keiko Asami, providing a unique insight into the development of women’s rugby in Japan, how rugby is growing into a national sport and their intentions for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, set to be held in Ireland in just a few weeks.

Click on  the image  below to view her interview

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Before a ball has been kicked, there is already good news for the host nation as tickets for the pool games in Dublin, with a total capacity of over 16,000 have sold out.

In other news about the world cup, Ireland head coach Tom Tierney has named a 28-player squad that will be captained by Munster full-back Niamh Briggs, who returns from a hamstring injury that ruled her out of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.

There are 12 players in the squad with previous World Cup experience; Ailis Egan, Heather O’Brien, Sophie Spence, Ashleigh Baxter, Paula Fitzpatrick, Alison Miller, Larissa Muldoon and Jenny Murphy were involved in the 2014 campaign where Ireland reached the tournament’s semi-final for the first time where they were beaten by eventual winners England.

Ireland were the last of the home nations to announce their World Cup squad.

Defending champions England announced their squad last month and Wales named theirs on Friday.  Scotland’s women failed to qualify for the tournament which will be played in Dublin and Belfast next month.

My personal opinion is the final has to include the home nation, with England being in with a good chance. The recent news of the RFU not renewing some of the England players contracts will certainly hit morale, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t affect the performance on the pitch. As for Japan, I’d love to see them make serious progression in the tournament…in a few weeks we will find out if they have the skills and stamina to go all the way