Daily Digest: Ireland’s Six Nations game against France to go ahead as scheduled

Six Nations

In today’s news: Kenny Shiels hails Northern Ireland’s historic achievement, England lose their second consecutive game and Ireland’s Six Nations match against France will go ahead as planned.

Ireland’s Six Nations game against France to go ahead as planned

Saturday’s Women’s Six Nations game between Ireland and France will still go ahead, despite France being added to Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine list.

The Irish government has yet to issue any guidance on the policy for elite athletes arriving from countries on this list, but the IRFU confirmed that this weekend’s game will not be impacted.

Both Ireland and France won their opening games, meaning the winner of this contest will finish top of Six Nations Pool B.

Whoever does emerge victorious will then play England on the 24th of April in the final of this year’s re-structured competition.

England

Kenny Shiels praises Northern Ireland for Euro 2022 qualification

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has described his side’s qualification for Euro 2022 as the “best ever sporting achievement in the UK.”

Shiels’ team beat Ukraine 2-0 in the second leg of their play-off in Belfast to complete a 4-1 aggregate victory.

The win means Northern Ireland will compete in a major international women’s tournament for the first time.

Speaking on this historic moment, Shiels said: "It is incredible what they have achieved, incredible. Unbelievable. I look at my staff and there are grown men crying and I am nearly in bits myself, but it is down to the girls at the end of the day.

"They are the best achievers of all time. There is nobody who can match what they have done, nobody."


England lose second consecutive game at home to Canada

England suffered a second straight defeat as they were beaten 2-0 by Canada at the bet365 stadium.

Evelyne Viens capitalised on a Demi Stokes error in the third minute, and while England pressed for an equaliser –– another mistake, this time from keeper Karen Bardsley, allowed Nichelle Prince to double Canada’s lead late on.

After the game, England interim head coach, Hege Riise, stressed that these individual mistakes were something “you can never predict” but recognised that her side need to improve moving forwards.

“We tried and held together as a team but I feel like it was more about mistakes today,” Riise said.

“I felt the team effort was good. We did well but we didn’t create enough chances.”

Canada

Jodie Burrage excited at the prospect of playing for Great Britain

Great Britain’s Jodie Burrage is looking forward to playing in the Billie Jean King Cup later this week, as Anne Keothavong’s side take on Mexico.

This is a first call up for Burrage who has won three singles titles and four doubles titles on the ITF Circuit.

The 21-year-old joins the team of Heather Watson, Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan. British number one, Johanna Konta, is absent from the squad through injury.

Speaking of her call up, Burrage told Sky Sports: "When I got the call I was really excited. "I'd obviously been thinking about it a little bit with how I was doing. I knew I was close to maybe getting the call-up, so when Anne called me I was really happy and really honoured to be part of the team.”


Anna Hopkin says Olympic delay has helped British swimmers

The 12-month delay to the Olympics has helped the progress of female British swimmers, according to Anna Hopkin.

The 24-year-old is part of an upcoming group of talent, that also includes Freya Anderson, Abbie Wood and Kathleen Dawson.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Hopkin said: "It's been a massive benefit to have the extra year.”

"Potentially one or two wouldn't have quite been where they would have liked to be at the end of last year, but an extra year has allowed people to really step up and accelerate their progress."

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