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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.10 15 Sep 2021


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The Connacht Women's rugby team have requested a review into the decision making process that led to them changing next to bins. 

The IRFU (and Leinster) were forced into an apology last weekend after footage emerged of the facilities left to the Connacht and Ulster teams ahead of the inter-pro matches at Donnybrook's Energia Park.

"Due to current government guidelines," the IRFU said, "Changing facilities are not available for amateur rugby teams.

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"These temporary facilities should have been set up in a more appropriate area."

Connacht have accepted the apology, but say more needs to be done to prevent a similar situation arising in the future.

A Connacht statement read, "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 lead 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.

Connacht men's back row Paul Boyle was asked about the situation on Wednesday, saying it "wasn't good enough".

Speaking ahead of the United Rugby Championship season, Boyle said, "We spoke about it ourselves in the changing room that we wouldn't put up for it.

"It's not good enough.

"I suppose, from a bigger level, the apology has been made. Hopefully it won't happen again. Hopefully there's dressing rooms available and the COVID stuff goes away.

"But if a scenario like that was to happen again, hopefully the powers-that-be make the right decision and don't have the guys there."

Connacht Women's Rugby statement: 

Connacht Women's Rugby Players would like to make the following statement regarding last Saturday's Interprovincial game at Energia Park.

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.

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 lead 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.

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 Womens 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. 

Thank You.

The Connacht Women's Rugby Team.


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Connacht Energia Park IRFU Leinster Paul Boyle Ulster

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