The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 pool allocation draw was made earlier this afternoon with Ireland placed in the same group as New Zealand, USA and Kazakhastan.
It’s a disappointing draw for the Girls in Green who, more than likely, will need to beat New Zealand at the first time of asking if they are to progress to the semi finals.
Although Ireland have never played the Kiwi’s before they are reasonably familiar with their other opponents having played both the USA (twice) and Kazakhastan in the WRWC 2010 beating both teams in the group matches before losing to the USA in the 5th to 8th placed play-offs.
The twelve teams taking part are placed in three pools with the pool winners plus the best placed runner up going through to the semi finals. The rest of the teams go into rankings play-offs where the compete for 5th to 8th and 9th to 12th placings. It is likely that the best placed runner up will come from England’s group with England and Canada likely to go into the semi finals alongside New Zealand and Australia.
How times change. Six months ago I would have put any amount of money on Ireland getting a top four finish in the World Cup, irrespective of whichever group they were placed in. Having just completed the Grand Slam the expectation was that the National team would be strengthened and a series of warm up matches organised to give Ireland Women the best of chances.
Unfortunately in the intervening months it appears that the reverse has happened with the squad decimated by call ups to the 7’s squad, resulting in injuries to key players, and the 15’s game largely ignored. At the time of writing I believe only one additional fixture has been pencilled in post Six Nations as preparation for the World Cup.
It’s a great shame that the girls haven’t had the support that they deserve but perhaps this team of special players will be able to build on the adversity and come out stronger.
Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 will take place in Paris from August 1-17. The pool stages will take place at FFR Marcoussis, with the semi-finals and final being played at Stade Jean Bouin.
- Pool A – England, Canada, Spain, Samoa
- Pool B – New Zealand, USA, Ireland, Kazakhastan
- Pool C – Australia, France, Wales, South Africa
The fixtures and kick-off times for #WRWC2014 will be announced at a later date.