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20th Mar 2024

Dorothy Wall sets World Cup target ahead of latest Six Nations campaign


Dorothy Wall

“We’re going out to compete, so it’s not a development tournament for us, by any standard.”

It tells you a lot about where the Ireland women’s rugby team is, right now, when 23-year-old Dorothy Wall is one of the most experienced players in their Six Nations squad.

Wall made her 15s international debut in the 2020 Six Nations, writes Aoife White, and has made 23 appearances for her country, since. In Scott Bemand’s first Six Nations squad since taking over from Greg McWilliams, Wall is just behind co-captain Edel McMahon (24 caps) and Linda Djougang (32) in terms of games.

Wall, who has been named as one of four Aer Lingus ambassadors from the women’s squad, ahead of this year’s Six Nations, is enjoying another impressive season, internationally and with Munster and The Clovers (in The Celtic Cup). The Munster co-captain spoke with us about Ireland’s tough outing in last year’s Six Nations, a positive WXV outing in Dubai and how that showing given the young squad some confidence.

“It was a tough Six Nations for us last year, with the changes that came in,” says Wall. “Being able to win all (our) games in WXV was a boost that our squad needed to set some foundations for going forward. We know the Six Nations is a different challenge in itself but we’re continuously growing and trying to be better. Our culture is a huge part of that – our team bond and the work we’re doing there is very essential to our journey.

“It was an enjoyable tournament (in Dubai), equal parts learning and equal parts rewarding. There’s nothing better than working hard together, problem-solving, getting to the point where you’re in a flow on the pitch. A big thing for us is firing shots on the pitch where we can and when we can. And it’s very much incorporated within our training idea that we are there to compete and we are there to fire shots. So, that was something that WXV allowed us to lean into…

“We needed to remember what it felt like to win and, against Spain, we kind of had to grind that out because they were the hardest of the three teams to play, and it was really good. It was a month away, the whole squad together. We learned a lot, we trained hard. It was around 42 degrees over there, people were passing out, ice baths everywhere, you were just trying to survive the conditions. It was really tough but so rewardin,g as well. It was a great trip for us and we’re under no illusions that the Six Nations is a very different beast to WXV but it was still really important for us as a squad to get those wins.”

 “The target,” Wall adds, “is to qualify for the World Cup in 2025 – that’s the overall squad target.”

Dorothy Wall
Dorothy Wall is only 23 but already heading into her fifth Six Nations campaign. (Credit: Sportsfile)

New dawn for Dorothy Wall and Ireland

Before Scott Bemand took the Ireland gig, he was lead coach of an England side that won the 2017 World Cup in 2017 and the Six Nations an impressive six times, including five Grand Slams.

Dorothy Wall spoke about what he has brought to camp, and how the squad has developed since he arrived.

“Scott made me realise that there’s a lot more dimensions to rugby that I even was aware of. He’s constantly expanding our rugby IQ asking questions and emphasising certain parts of the game that maybe we weren’t aware were so important, in terms of beating other teams.

“It’s a more rounded overall knowledge that he’s bringing to the game, and it has been really important. It’s eye-opening for a lot of us. We’re just continuously trying to take on board that information and then bring it out to training and execute and then into matches.”

Despite it being Bemand’s first Six Nations as Ireland head coach, Wall did not truck with the notion that this was a ‘development tournament’ for them.

“We’re going out to compete so it’s not a development tournament for us, by any standard. There’s pressure in playing international rugby, whatever way you look at it. If you’ve won a Six Nations, if you’ve lost a Six Nations there’s pressure, either way, to stay on top or to improve to get closer to the top. I think pressure is an integral thing to this position and you have to embrace it, going forward. We want to compete and I suppose pressure is a part of that. ”

Ireland will face France in the opening round of the Women’s Guinness Six Nations, this Saturday (March 23). Ireland then face a strong Italian side in the RDS on Sunday, March 31. Following the success in the WVX3, back in October 2023, Ireland will now play in the WVX2 series in South Africa, this October. 

Dorothy Wall
Aer Lingus has announced partnerships with Ireland rugby players Dorothy Wall (Munster), Linda Djougang (Leinster) – both pictured above – Sam Monaghan (Gloucester-Hartpury) and Neve Jones (Gloucester-Hartpury). (Credit: INPHO)


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