Sunday , June 13 2021

Determined Hughes fighting from the World Cup fist

Ailsa Hughes is nothing if she is not determined.

Her early sports performance was visible on the GAA pitch, and all-Ireland medals from Offaly on the intermediate and intermediate levels showed her days with camogie.

Rugby also aroused her interest. The tag was popular in Tullamore, but there was one major obstacle: there was no women's team in the area.

"I was sick because there was no club nearby," RTÉ Sport said, "but we had a huge rugby stand."

Active Hughes become one of the founders of the women's club.

"The idea was to try and find the boys on board to see if we could try to push through women's rugby and see what we could do."

Now Tullamore can boast of two women's teams, but half of them had more ambitions than ordinary club rugby.

Having won the World Cup, Hughes moved to Railway Union to confront the Irish board. The goal was to catch Tom Tierney in the eye and create the final lineup.

The signs were positive after several trips in the Six Nations of 2017, but ultimately failed to shorten.

"Fully gutted" is a concise answer to the question she felt after this neglect. "I was probably the strongest and strongest at this stage, I suppose that at the time my rugby was probably not up to zero.

"That's why I had to leave and focus on what type of rugby player I wanted to be and how I wanted to be, say, as nine in me, how I wanted to play as nine."

There was no time for self-pity, and a decent series of performances for Leinster in the interpellations that December was the perfect preparation for this year's Six Nations. She fought Nicole Cronin's competition for the first trip in France and maintained her starting position in four of the five games.

This helped trainer Adam Griggs know her work from the provincial scene very well.

"I think I am unbelievably happy that we had Adam for two years before that. Even entering the Six Nations, I personally had a good idea of ​​what the game plan is and what it wants to play, the benefit of the Six Nations."

Hughes re-starts in the Sunday fight against the United States (the match starts at 1:00 PM) and believes he has a much better idea of ​​the game.

"We're always so used to going for an outside ball, not an inner ball." "Mixing defenders and actually the ability to use nine as a threat is good."

The name checking Conor Murray and a pair of New Zealand Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara as some of her scrum models to follow. No wonder that Offala comes from an open, attacking style of play.

Her offensive style is what Griggs wants to see more from his team. "I love the fast rugby game, and for example the Donnybrook game is unbelievable to be able to go out and work on it and put it in our game plan."

It was a huge mental thing I had to work on. Discover what I want to do and where I want to be

Most importantly, Hughes is much more comfortable in its own skin internationally. Her position requires leadership, decision making and vocal presence, but it may take some time to develop these skills, especially in the test environment.

"I suppose that's where I had to go after I was not selected for the World Cup to run away and work on it." It was a huge mental thing I had to work on. Discover what I wanted to do and where I am wanted to be.

"Actually look and go", I'm not one of those players, I'm not that loud, roaring and screaming. "I think in the meantime, it's just a matter of trying to build yourself up and find your feet."

In his sixth season as a rugby player and reinforced by the pain in the World Cup, Hughes certainly achieved it.

Follow Ireland v USA this coming Sunday through our live blog at RTÉ News Now or RTÉ.ie / sport or listen live and exclusive match commentary RTE Radio 1 Extra from 12:55

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