Briggs shortlisted for top award but Irish women crash out

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Ireland's Niamh Briggs, who has been nominated for the IRB World Player of the Year award, shows her disappointment at the side's World Cup semi-final defeat to England in Paris
UL-BOHEMIAN, Munster and Ireland full-back Niamh Briggs has been included on the short-list for the prestigious IRB Women’s World Player of the Year accolade.

UL-BOHEMIAN, Munster and Ireland full-back Niamh Briggs has been included on the short-list for the prestigious IRB Women’s World Player of the Year accolade.

The nomination comes on the back of Ireland’s success in reaching the semi-final of the IRB Women’s World Cup in Paris, where the side suffered a disappointing 40-7 last four defeat to England.

Ireland will now face hosts France in Paris in the third and fourth place play-off on Sunday afternoon at 3.30pm Irish time. (Live on TG4)

Niamh Briggs is one of four players named to receive the World Player of the Year award joining France number 8 Safi N’Diaye and Canadian duo, captain Kelly Russell and winger Magali Harvey.

Speaking in the wake of Ireland’s defeat to England this Wednesday evening, Briggs said: “We definitely didn’t perform to our potential, and that’s probably the most gutting thing. We really didn’t step up the mark where it needed to be.”

“We had a great start, put them under a lot of pressure, and then we made too many mistakes. “And against a good side like England, they’re always going to punish you.”

Limerick based garda Briggs was Ireland’s top World Cup 2014 points scorer with 27 points.

Twenty nine-year-old Briggs would be the first Irish women ever to have received this prestigious award should she come out on top.

Briggs debuted for Munster in 2006. A Waterford native, Niamh has claimed a total of six interprovincial titles and has been capped for her country on 44 occasions.

Competing in her second World Cup, the experienced full-back was awarded the Munster, Ireland and World Player of the Year titles in 2013.

The management of the 12 teams at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 and commentators have voted for their top three players after each round with votes tallied to provide the shortlist of nominees. The winner will be announced on Sunday at the conclusion of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014.