Andy Farrell’s first media engagement with the Irish media as new Ireland head coach wasn’t all plain sailing on Monday.

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Rather than hold a conference that accommodated all media that wanted to attend, Joe Schmidt’s successor adopted an invite-only approach that has been used in recent times by IRFU high-performance boss David Nucifora.

Only certain invited media organisations were permitted to attend, with others excluded from Farrell’s first press appearance as the boss. 

This handpicked approach to generating publicity caused a stir online after one excluded media took to Twitter to voice its disapproval. 

Pat McCarry, who works in the online/broadcast sector and has written books on Irish rugby, tweeted: “Andy Farrell up for his first press engagement of his term tomorrow and the IRFU is hand-picking journalists and outlets again while excluding others… Pathetic state of affairs.”

McCarry followed up after the conference had taken place by tweeting some agency pictures with the text, ‘Nice and cosy’. 

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In between his tweets, there had been online calls by Irish rugby fans for journalists attending the session to refuse to go, but the Irish rugby media pack has been disunited for some time with previous calls to boycott after journalists were excluded from sessions going unheeded. 

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