‘Stacey’s got buckets of talent. She really can do it all’ – the 7s star making an impact at 15s with Ireland

IRELAND HEAD COACH Adam Griggs and hooker Clíodhna Moloney have hailed the impact of Sevens star Stacey Flood in the 15s squad over the past few weeks.

The Dubliner came off the bench in Ireland’s heavy 41-point Six Nations defeat against France last weekend, the replacement out-half a certain bright spark as the clock ran down.

Flood’s performance was one of few positives on a sobering day in Donnybrook, her impressive involvement certainly promising going forward.

It came as the 24-year-old playmaker’s second Ireland 15s cap in a week, having been sprung from the bench in the 45-o win over Wales in Cardiff.

On both occasions, Flood showed ample game intelligence and management, and displayed an impressive zip in her passing — following the family tradition, her older sister, Kim, a dual Ireland rugby international, who is now playing Women’s National League [WNL] football with Wexford Youths, both having also played inter-county football in the past.

Flood is one of several Ireland Sevens stars — Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe,  and Emily Lane the others — Griggs predicted could provide ‘X-factor’ in this campaign, and he’s been more than pleased with her showing so far.

“Stacey is obviously a proven performer on the Sevens series,” he told The42 in a media briefing this afternoon. “What we like about her is the way that she can see the game.

“She’s got a really good rugby IQ, she’s been playing it for a long time at a high level. The last couple of performances from her have been top-notch, coming off the bench and adding impact, which we’ve asked her to do.

“What we like about her is she plays heads up rugby and she’s starting to learn more and more that in the 15s game, there is still a framework that we can work off that allows for her to express herself and show some of that talent she has.”

Moloney echoed her coach’s words on the Railway Union star, while teaming up with Guinness for the Never Settle campaign.

“Stacey’s got buckets of talent, she really does,” the Wasps forward said. “She’s a very confident player but she can back it up. She can back it up in every facet of the game.

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“You’ve seen her defence, you’ve seen her turnovers, you’ve seen her kick, you’ve seen her miss pass; she really can do it all. It’s about getting her more exposure to the 15s game, I guess, more and more exposure. She’s learned her trade at Sevens but I think she really will be an excellent 15s player.

“It’s more so about hoping that we retain her and hoping that we keep her in the 15s team. If she is able to do both, that would be fantastic. But we definitely have a big talent in Stacey and we would hope that she would keep performing to her ability in that way.”

Ireland face Italy in this weekend’s third-place play-off, hoping to finish the campaign on a high.