McWiliam's says Ireland need to earn respect from other teams ahead of the France game

McWiliam's says Ireland need to earn respect from other teams ahead of the France game

IRELAND HEAD coach Greg McWilliam believes that his Ireland side can only achieve respect from other team's is "if they work harder than everyone else". 

Ireland lost 29-17 to the Welsh on the opening day of the Tiktok Six Nations and now face a French side brimming with confidence. 

Les Bleu's are hot favourites for the tie on Saturday and are tipped to beat McWilliam's side by a big margin. 

Ireland have never beaten France away in the Six Nations and now face a French side that have won 20 of its last 21 Six Nations games at home, the last three on an aggregate score of 137-16.

Ireland have not changed the side that lost to Wales on the opening day, while France have rung the changes, bringing in 6 new faces to the team. 

McWilliams knows the French test will be tough for his side, but says that respect has to be earnt at this level, 

"They have power and pace, particularly when they play at home, they get good energy off the crowd so they are going to come at us from all angles," he said

"It’s important for us that we can improve on our performance from last week but also be in the game, like to start trading blows is important for us.

"I want to be clear about this, the support last week was incredible from the public.

"But we want to be respected. It’s not about being liked.

The only way to get that respect is when people see you working bloody hard to get better and to fight for everyone.

"If you have that fight in France and you stick to that plan, well I’ll be happy with that. That’s all I ask for and the result will look after itself.

He also knows that Ireland are still growing as a team and that his Ireland team have so much to give

"We are in transition, there is lots going on and we’re trying to get tighter all the time. We’ve a lot of people working very hard at that. The goal is still to win.

"There is only so much 'You did great, you were good for 60 minutes.’

"So we want to be winning. We need to keep learning all the way to become strong and robust and get to the point where we're competitive against these teams."

Ireland play France at 14.15 today 

Ireland: Eimear Considine; Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall; Nicole Cronin, Aoibheann Reilly; Linda Djougang, Neve Jones, Katie O'Dwyer, Nichola Fryday (capt), Sam Monaghan; Dorothy Wall, Edel McMahon, Brittany Hogan

Replacements: Emma Hooban, Chloe Pearse, Christy Hanley, Anna McGann, Hannah O'Connor, Kathryn Dane, Enya Breen, Beibhinn Parsons