Ciara Griffin insists personal discipline is the key to avoiding the same fate as many of the teams in the men's Six Nations who had players sent off.

Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony was red-carded in their opening game against Wales, while Scotland lost both Zander Fagerson and Finn Russell, also for making contact with the head of an opponent. 

Paul Willemse of France was also sent to the line for his infraction against Wales. 

Indeed three of the four red cards shown in the tournament came against Wales, who Ireland face in their opening match of the Women’s Six Nations on 10 April.

"A lot of it is discipline, personal discipline and team discipline and we are driving it as a group," said the Ireland skipper when asked what the squad were doing to ensure they don’t end up playing with 14.

"We are driving that tackle area and making sure we are all disciplined.

"That’s just basic tackle technique. That’s basic, being mindful and being aware of the force behind you.

"So err on the side of caution, if in doubt just don’t go that high. It’s as simple as that.

"Go for those lower tackles, those double hits, you can mitigate that and you won’t have the head contact." 

This year's tournament has been reformatted due to Covid-19 restrictions and consists of two pool games and a play-off (all live on RTÉ).

Griffin also welcomed the inclusion of five uncapped players to the training squad.

Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Emily Lane, Grace Moore and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe have represented Ireland at sevens in the past. 

"They have great attitudes, they're really eager to learn, and have fitted in seamlessly," said the back row, who has 33 caps.


No extra pressure on 'elite' Ireland, says Griffin


"They have experience in 15s with their clubs and provinces, which is brilliant for us. It's nice to have fresh faces and everyone brings something different. 

"They've been doing really well in camp and looking forward to hopefully seeing them get their first caps in this campaign.

"[Amee-Leigh] has a brilliant rugby brain. She does her homework.

"She works so hard off the field and performs so well on the field. I can’t wait to see her tear it up in this campaign." 

Listen to the RTÉ Rugby podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundcloudSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow Leinster v Toulon (5.30pm, Friday) and Munster v Toulouse (3pm, Saturday) in Champions Cup action via our live blogs on RTE.ie and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ 2fm's Game On and RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.