“Losing Sam is equivalent to losing the five backs of sevens” – Greg McWilliams regrets losing Monaghan from the second row

Ireland manager Greg McWilliams has claimed the loss of second-row sensation Sam Monaghan means the absence of his Stars Seven’s defensive stars as his devastated side prepare to take on World Cup favorites England this weekend to visit.

The Wasps star has a calf injury and although she could be available for the final Six Nations Championship game against Scotland in Belfast, the player nicknamed ‘Sonny Bill Monaghan’ will be sorely missed as McWilliams lead a side that has asserted itself , must dramatically regroup their only win of the season against Italy last time out.

“In my opinion, she is a very different person from the person I met in Wasps in February. She’s grown into the role so much and loves the fact that she has more responsibility,” he said.

“An important part of the program is that you bring your own personality and feel like you can be yourself and add value, she’s world class. She’s someone who improves game by game, she got injured on Saturday.

“You lose Sam, that’s the equivalent of losing the five sevens-backs who’ve gone, they’re on par in terms of what they’re starting to develop. You just move on now, it’s about coming up with a plan that circumvents her absence.”

Ireland must face the most professional rugby team in the world without their professional players – Beibhinn Parsons, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall, Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Anna McGann and Brittany Hogan, all leaving to focus on the Langford Sevens to prepare.

Aoife Wafer, the 19-year-old rear rower who made her debut against Italy, is also out for the rest of the tournament with a muscle problem, but coach McWilliams remains defiant despite playing against a side seeking their 22nd straight win.

“We had a day camp on Saturday which went well, the new girls were coming in and we were training against Barnhall U20s who were a good side, big guys. We did some unit work against them, team unit defense and offense,” he said.

“I always dream of the bigger picture, where you want to be known for the rugby you play, not the results you get. It is in no way defeatist.

“We face a massive challenge, we will be missing 10 players who would most likely be in your starting XI of 23 but in these times you can see the rest of your squad and test the wider group.

“A lot of people will have waited patiently, a lot will think they should have had an opportunity sooner, and you prepare it as best you can. You have a plan which is very simple like you do with every game and hope the players can integrate into that plan.

“We don’t have a lot of prep time, we’re playing against a team of professionals, but we still go out there and believe in what we’re doing and hopefully we can stick with it.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/womens-sport/losing-sam-is-the-equivalent-of-losing-the-five-sevens-backs-greg-mcwilliams-rues-loss-of-second-row-monaghan-41566663.html “Losing Sam is equivalent to losing the five backs of sevens” – Greg McWilliams regrets losing Monaghan from the second row

Fry Electronics Team

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