Munster Rugby has welcomed Lisdoonvarna RFC and Cork Hellhounds RFC as new members of the Munster branch of the IRFU.
Their memberships were ratified at a Munster Branch Committee meeting on June 2.
Established in October 2020, Cork Hellhounds are a Cork-based LGBT-inclusive rugby club. They were founded in association with the Gay Project, a Cork-based LGBT community organisation.
The Hellhounds welcome players of any and all experiences, backgrounds or gender identities.
They continued a proud tradition of inclusivity on Leeside, following in the footsteps of the Cork Rebels football club, and Cork Frontrunners athletic club.
"It's fantastic, it feels very surreal," said their founder and club president Adam O'Brien, "Munster Rugby has been behind us 100%.
"There has been plenty of support for myself and my committee in getting this done over the last couple of months."
Lisdoonvarna RFC will provide a rugby offering for players in the large North Co. Clare catchment area. They operate out of the pitches at community-owned Lisdoonvarna Fáilte CLG.
Honorary Secretary of Lisdoonvarna RFC Frankie Burke said, "It's great to have the club up and running now and we're looking forward to Give It A Try on July 27th."
The IRFU's Give It A Try programme provides an "opportunity for girls aged 8-14 to learn how to play rugby in a fun environment".
Speaking of their new additions, Munster head of rugby development Colm McMahon said, "Although it has been a challenging year for domestic rugby in the province, we can now look forward to welcoming two new clubs to the Munster Rugby family ahead of the 2021/22 season.
"I would like to congratulate Cork Hellhounds RFC and Lisdoonvarna RFC on becoming members of the Munster Branch.
"It is a testament to the passionate volunteers and our hard-working staff that we welcome the addition of two new clubs after what has been an unprecedented 18 months."
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