The withdrawal of a motion to recognise women’s rugby as part of the senior league is a sad reflection of the IRFU’s commitment to women’s rugby, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Barry Ward was speaking following the news that the Munster Council had withdrawn a motion at its AGM to recognise women’s rugby as part of its senior league.
“Female rugby players in Ireland now have to go abroad to truly challenge themselves or to take up opportunities to play at a professional level. One in three female rugby players in Ireland plays abroad and this is absolutely down to a lack of commitment on the part of the IRFU and the provincial branches in Ireland,” said Senator Ward.
“I attended the Ireland v Wales match in the RDS last weekend as part of the TikTok 6 Nations competition. Although it was not Ireland’s day, the commitment and skill shown was every bit as impressive as that of the men’s team and the level of support, particularly from families at the event, was striking. If the IRFU has sense, it will recognise the potential that comes with women’s rugby as another avenue to involve people in rugby and all the good things that come with it.
“The withdrawal of this motion seeking to inject equality has coincided with April Fools’ Day and has highlighted the disparity of treatment between women’s and men’s rugby. This on-going inequality is neither an April Fools nor funny, and it has to stop.
“The IRFU must recognise the opportunity that is presented by a vibrant women’s game in Ireland and invest in that in every respect,” concluded Senator Ward.