It has been a tough Six Nations campaign for Ireland, who have suffered three heavy defeats and face a daunting task against England this weekend. But amid the storm of criticism, both online and offline, captain Nichola Fryday fronted up to the media to face some difficult questions in the midst of all the negativity surrounding Irish Rugby at present.
Fryday addressed the accusations of sexism levelled at the IRFU and also spoke out against the harsh comments made on social media from those who accused the team of 'letting the country down' and questioned their commitment and ability.
"I'm not really concerned about what others say, to be honest," she said. "It's just outside noise to me."
"Everyone else seems to have their own opinions about what's happening here and what's not happening here We're the Irish national team, we're Irish people, and we don't put our heads down and give up for the rest of the tournament. We're going to go out fighting, and that's the mentality we all have."
Following the defeat to Italy, there has been some comments online that have kicked the team when they're down. Some players in the squad have chose to come off social media due to the strain it has caused. Fryday acknowledged the impact of negative comments, saying, "Off the pitch, it hasn't been easy to read. We're all doing our best every week, despite constantly reading things on social media and getting hammered with comments that we're disappointing our country. As an athlete, it's hard to take."
However, she also highlighted the resilience of the team and their determination to focus on their efforts, stating, "We know what's going on inside our group and we know what we're doing on and off the pitch. We're trying our best, and that's all we can continue to do."
Despite the team's struggles and criticism, Fryday remains optimistic and believes that the team's journey is just beginning. She stated, "We're asking for people to give us time. I believe you can't question the heart the girls have shown in the last three weeks, and I have no doubt it will continue in the next few matches." Fryday also pointed out that the team is relatively young and is still building, and urged people to put things into perspective. "We know what we're doing on and off the pitch. We're trying our best, and that's all we can continue to do."
With more matches to come in the Six Nations tournament, the Irish Women's Rugby team remains resolute in their pursuit of success. Despite the challenges they have faced, including criticism on social media, the team is determined to continue fighting and giving their all for their country. As Fryday aptly summed up, "We're the Irish national team, we're Irish people, and we don't put our heads down and give up." The team's journey continues, and they are committed to making their country proud.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) April 20, 2023
Vodafone will host a family fun zone at Musgrave Park on Saturday April 22nd ahead of the penultimate game in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations when Ireland take on England. The fun zone will be located at the Dolphin Rugby Entrance where the space will be open to all match attendees to immerse themselves in the lively entertainment before the game. The Vodafone team will be on hand to welcome fans of all ages who can have fun testing their rugby skills and enjoying some exciting giveaways.
As an official partner of the IRFU, title sponsor of The Women’s Interprovincial Championship, and main sponsor of the Irish rugby team, Vodafone’s ambition is to help the game continue to grow at all levels.
Fans can purchase tickets via the links below and games will also be covered by RTE and Virgin Media.
Ireland Women’s Six Nations Home Fixtures
Saturday April 22nd 2023
Ireland v England, 14:15pm. – Buy Tickets Here