ENYA Breen looked at home on the big stage.
The 19-year-old Skibbereen teenager made her senior international debut for Ireland in their Women’s Six Nations defeat (47-17) against France.
While the result didn’t go Ireland’s way, Breen played the full game and received good reviews for her performance.
Munster Rugby Women’s head coach Laura Guest, from Clonakilty, was delighted to see the West Cork teenager get her big chance.
‘Enya’s a fantastic talent and it’s brilliant for her, at 19, to make her senior debut. I think it’s important to recognise too that it was against France, one of the powerhouses of women’s rugby so Enya got a chance against one of the best teams in the world, a team that is now semi-professional and she didn’t look out of place in any way,’ Guest told the Star Sport Podcast.
‘She was a little unlucky in that I would liked to have seen Enya involved sooner in the Six Nations but Michelle Claffey and Sene Naoupu have been making a good partnership there.
‘While she didn’t see a crazy amount of ball in attack she acquitted herself very well in defence.
‘She is one of these talented players who looks like she’s going to fumble a ball or maybe not gather a ball but suddenly she gathers it, she’s still on her feet and she’s very strong and she’s through a gap. She does all the little things correctly and she certainly has a bit of x-factor as well.
‘Considering it was her first full start I think she should be proud of herself and happy with herself.’
Guest has said before that Breen is one for the future and the present, and she outlines what makes the former Bantry Bay RFC such a hot prospect.
‘She has a bit of everything – great balance, superb strength, plenty of pace, good footwork and more than anything else at that level, she has a brain. She has a rugby mind and a great understanding of the game. She will get better and better as time goes on,’ Guest said.
‘In the Munster team last season, she was the standout back throughout the season which is incredible for someone who is in her first year at senior rugby.’
Breen’s versatility is another plus point in her favour.
‘One of Enya’s huge strengths is that she can play anywhere across the back line,’ Guest said.
‘She has played at ten underage, she was playing at 15 at the start of the season for us, she played at centre for us. I think she can play anywhere in the back line. I like her in midfield. She’s a great defender as well an as attacker. She is a superb place kicker as well so I think she has a very bright future ahead of her.’
Breen and Ireland will now travel to Wales this weekend and look to finish their Six Nations campaign on a high note.
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