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Ireland Women's head coach to step down after RWC disappointment

By Kim Ekin
Dejected Ireland players, from left, Beibhinn Parsons, Dorothy Wall and Eimear Considine after the Women's Six Nations match between Ireland and France (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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The IRFU have confirmed that Adam Griggs will step down as Ireland Women’s Head Coach following this year’s November’s Autumn Test matches.


The Irish Women’s team failed to qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup in what has been viewed as a major blow for the women’s game in Ireland. Griggs notified the IRFU of his decision to step down earlier this month, but he will remain in the role up until the end of his current contract in November.

He will remain in charge for Ireland’s back-to-back Test matches against USA and Japan.

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“I would like to thank Adam for his commitment and dedication to the position,” said IRFU Director of Women’s and Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy. “Although there was disappointment with the outcome of the World Cup qualification, the squad has developed under his direction and players have been identified and developed to a stage where now the incoming coach, Greg McWilliams, has a good squad to work with for the future.”

Griggs will move into the position of IRFU provincial talent coach for Leinster, focusing on talent ID and player development across both the Men’s and Women’s game.

“It has been an enjoyable and challenging period. It was bitterly disappointing to exit the World Cup qualification as we did, however, I believe the group can take pride in their personal growth and development as rugby players,” said Griggs. “Personally, I will take plenty of learning from this experience which I look forward to implementing in the future. I would like to thank the players and support staff for their unwavering commitment to the green jersey and I look forward to watching a talented group grow into world class players under Greg’s tutelage.”

The IRFU have also appointed his successor, the aforementioned Greg McWilliams. McWilliams, who has recently returned to Ireland from America, brings a wealth of experience to the position and will commence his role on 1st December, 2021 to begin preparations with the squad for the 2022 Women’s Six Nations.


The 43-year-old was previously part of the Ireland Women’s coaching team, serving as assistant coach for the 2010 and 2014 Rugby World Cups, as well as the 2013 Six Nations-winning campaign.

During his time in America, McWilliams was the Director of Rugby at Yale University, taking up a coaching role with the USA Eagles in 2017 and he remained with USA through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup. McWilliams’ most recent role was Head Coach of Major League Rugby outfit Rugby United New York.

The Ireland squad for the Autumn Tests against USA and Japan will be announced early next week.


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