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IRFU say they'll 'fully publish' reviews amid spat with players

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by PA)

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The IRFU have said they will make the two ongoing reviews into the organisation public amid the fallout from last week’s row with a number of their women’s players.

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62 former and current players penned a scathing letter to the Irish government asking for oversight of the reviews, claiming the IRFU were untrustworthy. The letter effectively claimed that the women’s programme was sub-standard and questioned how independent the reviews would be.

The letter comes just months after the 15-a-side team failed to qualify for the 2021 RWC, a result that shocked Irish rugby and raised questions about the women’s programme.

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The IRFU have now released a statement, saying that both reviews will be made public. “The IRFU confirms that it intends to fully publish the two independent reviews currently being undertaken into women’s rugby. The review of the Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification campaign and the wider review of the Women in Rugby Action Plan are both being undertaken by Amanda Bennett and her colleagues at FairPlay (Ltd).

“The decision was made at the December meeting of the Union Committee where the IRFU committed to transparency in this review process.

“The IRFU expects that the initial review, into the RWC’21 qualification campaign, will be completed by Amanda Bennett, and her colleagues, in January, while the wider review is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2022 (subject to completion).

“The IRFU wishes to assure all those devoted to rugby, including the players who issued the recent letter to Government Ministers, that the situation that developed, particularly in the last week, is regrettable and we will work tirelessly to mend and build the relationship between the Union and our players.

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“We are committed to the development of the women’s game, from grassroots to elite level, to provide the opportunity for girls and women to enjoy lifelong participation in rugby.

“The IRFU will seek to meet a delegation from the women’s group early in the New Year and assures them that their views will be listened to and fed into future planning.

“The IRFU hope to meet with Minister Chambers next week.”

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