Ireland coach Greg McWilliams had no doubt his young Gunn would go big in Japan as his 9-try team finished 15th in the first leg of the historic summer tour. They recovered from a -0 deficit to win 57-22.

Even if we were losing 20-0, we would have had confidence in this group,” said McGraw after a glimpse of a bright future for the team, which includes six rookies led by Taro teenager Dana O’Brien. Williams smiled brightly. On missing out on qualifying for the World Cup this year.

“Danna has a generation of players who are only 18 years old, but a handful of them, including Meab Deeley, Aoife Dalton, Leah Tarpey and Natasha Behan, all of whom are the future of Irish rugby. .

“We can’t wait to see where Danna gets as an individual, but she’s not alone. It’s up to us to help her.”

“Some people may question giving young players a chance. not.

“And then there’s another group of players who have had to dig into their souls after experiencing the disappointment in Parma last year. Yeah, you know it’s hard for them. They’re credit.

“We are very proud, we have a special group formed.

“A lot of teams might have been scratching their heads when we lost 15-0 so quickly at the start. It also shows confidence in what they are trying to do.

“We need to enjoy this win, but we need to keep getting better from next week onwards. These girls are the future of Irish rugby and they have shown they deserve this stage.

“I am proud to represent Ireland as head coach and to have won for your country, and I would also like to pay tribute to a truly special captain, Nicola Friday. ”

When asked to explain how that early 15-to-0 deficit came about, given that Irish viewers were denied coverage due to technical problems in Japan, The Offaly woman joked.

“We started slow and didn’t have a lot of possessions, so I said before this game, if we give this team the ball, they will play and run. We had to back up because we allowed it to ride.

“We had to regroup, which probably wasn’t something we could have done in the past. It wasn’t the start we wanted, but it had the character to change plans and execute.”

Sam Monaghan and Nicole Cronin are questioning next week’s second test in Tokyo after shipping a late knock.

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