WXV: Greg McWilliams leaves Ireland ahead of inaugural women’s tournament

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Ireland have parted ways with Greg McWilliams ahead of World Rugby's three-tier inaugural WXV competition kicking off in October. Credit: Alamy
Ireland have parted ways with Greg McWilliams ahead of World Rugby's three-tier inaugural WXV competition kicking off in October. Credit: Alamy

Greg McWilliams has left his role as head coach of Ireland women’s team ahead of the inaugural WXV tournament following a poor Six Nations campaign.

Ireland lost all five of their games in the tournament and finished their campaign with a points difference of minus 167.

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The IRFU confirmed that McWilliams leaves the role immediately and by mutual consent.

McKee takes over in the interim

“The IRFU would like to thank Greg for his efforts over the course of the last 18 months and wish him and his family well for the future,” read a statement from the Irish Rugby Football Union.

“The IRFU will now begin the process of replacing him.”

In the meantime, John McKee will take over on an interim basis and remain in place alongside the remainder of the current management team until a long-term replacement is finalised, the IRFU confirmed.

In his first Six Nations in charge, Ireland finished in third place but failed to repeat that feat this time around.

They kicked off their campaign with a 31-5 defeat to Wales. In round two, they failed to score a try as France claimed a comprehensive 3-53 victory.

Italy then defeated Ireland 24-7, and England secured a 0-48 win.

Last Saturday’s 36-10 loss to Scotland proved to be his final game in charge.

The results mean that Ireland will feature as a Tier 3 team in World Rugby’s WXV international competition.

Inaugural WXV tournament

World Rugby has confirmed the venues and dates for the new three-tier international women’s tournament, the WXV.

Eighteen teams will take part in the event, with the top six battling it out in WXV 1 in New Zealand. England and Wales have been confirmed as two of the tier one teams that will compete in the tournament across three weekends on October 21 and 28 and November 4.

The next six contesting WXV 2 in South Africa on October 14, 21 and 28, and WXV 3 using the same dates but with the venue dependent on the nations qualifying.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We made a pledge at a spectacular Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand to accelerate the advancement of the women’s game.

“Much progress is being made at rapid pace, and today we are marking another milestone with confirmation of the dates and venues for the inaugural WXV competition.”

Format

Rugby World Cup finalists England, France, and Wales have already booked their places in WXV 1.

Meanwhile, Scotland and Ireland will participate in WXV 2 and WXV 3, respectively, with Italy and Spain playing off to decide the final European participants in those groups.

The World Rugby Pacific Four Series 2023 will determine the remaining three teams in WXV 1 and one team in WXV 2, with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States contesting the competition featuring the top two teams in Oceania and North America.

WXV 3 will comprise two sides from Europe and one each from Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America.

Each division in the annual tournament will be played out as a cross-pool format, with promotion and relegation – although not for the first two years leading up to the 2025 World Cup – adding spice.

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The article WXV: Greg McWilliams leaves Ireland ahead of inaugural women’s tournament appeared first on Planetrugby.com.