IRFU to review interpro arrangements after Connacht women call for investigation

‘We sincerely hope that something like this will never happen again, for any team’

A general view of action during the Vodafone women’s interprovincial  between Connacht  and Ulster at Energia Park in Donnybrook. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

A general view of action during the Vodafone women’s interprovincial between Connacht and Ulster at Energia Park in Donnybrook. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho

 

The IRFU has commenced a review of the arrangements during last Saturday’s Women’s Interprovincial Championship match between Connacht and Ulster at Energia Park in Donnybrook.

The move comes after Connacht players released a statement on Wednesday afternoon outlining their disappointment at having to change in temporary facilities close to bins and, with reports of rats running around the area where the gazebo was placed.

In a brief statement released through their Twitter account on Wednesday night, the IRFU said: “Based on the request by Connacht players the IRFU . . . are appalled this situation arose and have already commenced a review of the circumstances that led to the clearly unacceptable location of players temporary changing facilities, at Energia Park last Saturday.

“We have sought reports from Leinster & Connacht to establish how this situation could have occurred, why it was not identified as an issue and rectified in the hours before the players arrived.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Connacht women’s players broke their silence and called for an investigation to be carried out.

The dreadful scene was highlighted with a brief video was broadcast of where they had to set up their gazebo beside bins, amid fears that the area might be rat-infested.

It is understood that players were asked not to comment publicly in the wake of the controversy, with the IRFU and Leinster Rugby issuing apologies, but a statement issued on behalf of the players on Wednesday said they were very upset over what happened.

“We are very disappointed and upset by the facilities that were provided for us to change both pre- and post-match and for our post-match meal. The location was not suitable for the purpose,” said the statement.

“We pride ourselves on representing Connacht Rugby in a professional manner both on and off the pitch. We did our best to perform on the day, despite this situation, but these circumstances were far from the standards we would expect for this level of our sport.

“We acknowledge the apology issued by the IRFU and Leinster Rugby earlier this week. We sincerely hope that something like this will never happen again, for any team.

“We would request that a review of the decision-making process which led to these circumstances be conducted and our hope is that more thought will go into decisions like this for the women’s game in the future.”

The statement added that it was a disappointing outcome given the strides made in Connacht and throughout the country in developing the sport but that what happened last weekend for their game against Ulster is unacceptable.

“We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support we have received from Connacht Rugby this season. We are all working together to improve women’s rugby in the province and throughout Ireland.

“We believe that every province is doing the same. Great progress has been made this season with all the women’s interpro games televised by TG4 and Vodafone coming on board as a sponsor of the series is a massive step in the right direction.

“However, the circumstances on Saturday highlight there is still much work to be done.

“More young girls got to see women’s rugby on TG4 over the last three weeks and hopefully we have inspired them to take up the game and fall in love with the sport that we love,” added the statement.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.