Irish captain Fiona Coghlan looks ahead to the 6 Nations and reflects on her side's World Cup campaign. She says the Irish were happy with their campaign though disappointed with a key game against the USA where her side didn't show up. Ireland are back in training in the coming weeks.
By Fiona Coglan
Coming back to normal life after the World Cup was definitely strange. We became somewhat institutionalised because during the three weeks we did everything together and were pretty regimented - what time to eat at, what to wear etc, it was difficult to get back to reality.
Most of us were straight back into work as well so we really didnt have any time to adjust.
It was a brilliant competition, so well run and having so much media coverage was amazing and did so much for the game.
The exposure for the game was highlighted again this week when Maggie Alphonsi won The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year She was up against some immense talent but she showcased her talent in every game in the World Cup and duly deserved the award.
The Irish camp are happy with how we finished in the end, improving our world ranking but we were particularly disappointed with our second game against the USA. It wasnt just the defeat but the fact that we did not turn up to play that day.
You ask yourself what happened over and over again and I dont have the answers. Our build up to the game was the same as always but watching back the video we looked tired. It was that point in the tournament that bodies are hurting and in fairness the USA were fitter and stronger than us and that paid in the end.
It was the best competition that I have been involved in, our build up to it was excellent and our summer training was so enjoyable and how we went about things for the three weeks was brilliant and our house decorations were pretty impressive (tacky) too.
We all had a two weeks off rugby when we got back, then it was back into club games.
At the same time the Interprovincial teams were starting training. Basically in Ireland we have four province and players can trial for whichever province they want, normally it is the province you are living in.
Then you play each province once with the top two teams going on to play in a final game to determine the winner. Unfortunately the weather has played havoc on these fixtures and it doesnt look like the final will get played this year, last year it was cancelled also due to weather.
It is good exposure for players that are looking to get on the National team as the National coach goes to the matches and gets videos of the games.
So at the moment Philip Doyle has a difficult task of picking a squad for this years 6 Nations Championships. It is still unclear how many retirements/players taking a year out there will be, I think some people are undecided what to do.
Obviously playing for your country is a huge honour, not something that you give up easily and that is why making the decision not to play can be so difficult.
I think there will be a good few new faces in the Irish aquad this year, which is fine, as all these things are cyclical but it very important that these new girls are given the resources and opportunities to assist them to become the best players that they can.