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IRFU to publish full details of independent reviews into women's game

The IRFU has confirmed that it intends to fully publish the two independent reviews currently being undertaken into women’s rugby



The IRFU has confirmed that it intends to fully publish the two independent reviews currently being undertaken into women’s rugby.

Ireland missed out on a place at the World Cup with defeats to Spain and Scotland, which led to several questions about the direction of the women's game in the country.

62 current and former female players wrote to Ministers Jack Chambers and Catherine Martin earlier this month complaining of "untrustworthy leadership" from the IRFU.

The letter brought to a head the frustrations of players - past and present - at how women's rugby has been treated by those tasked with its nurturing.

In response, the IRFU criticised the tenor of the letter and its timing given the two reviews were ongoing.

In a statement on Friday, the IRFU said:

"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 RWC21 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.

"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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