Niamh Briggs: A good Six Nations won't guarantee a good World Cup

The Ireland captain was speaking to Off The Ball's Dave McIntyre

Niamh Briggs, Ireland, Rugby, Six Nations

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland 

Niamh Briggs already has two Six Nations medals in her back pocket but is keen to add a third.  

The Ireland captain leads the country into one of their most important years as they look to regain their Six Nations crown as well as challenging at a home World Cup.

Form toward the end of 2016 waned slightly, with defeats to England, Canada and the All Blacks finishing their year on a disappointing note. Briggs insists, however, that it's important to have goals clear in your head before the start of the campaign.

"You can lose focus very quickly if you try and encompass the two of them together," she told Off The Ball's Dave McIntyre. "It's important that we take them as two separate entities. For us as a squad, we're very much focusing on the Six Nations. 

"It's about knowing good performances will springboard us into the summer but also that if we win the Six Nations it won't necessarily define our World Cup and vice versa. If we don't go and win the Six Nations, it won't mean we're going to have a bad World Cup.

"A lot can happen in a few months, people can hit form and you can lose players to injuries. It's really important for us to live in the now and live in the moment. We have Scotland first up in the Championship and we can't look much further than that."

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs at the launch of the 2017 RBS Six Nations Championship at The Hurlingham Club in London today. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The difficulty will be in keeping the two apart and retaining focus on one competition, despite the short break and recovery they have between the two.

"If you do well in the Six Nations you leave that tournament behind you on a high. Irrelevant of whether you won it, but if the performances weren't bad and mentality-wise you weren't that far off it, then going back into camp in May makes it a little easier. 

"That's a pressure that's going to be on each of the teams to try and perform well and good into the World Cup in good stead. It is two separate competitions and it is going to be how we prepare for one will almost act as a springboard on how we prepare for the second one."