Women’s Interprovincial series: IRFU apologises for ‘unacceptable’ changing conditions

Connacht drew 12-12 with Ulster in their final interprovincial match
Connacht drew 12-12 with Ulster in their final interprovincial match

The IRFU and Leinster have apologised to Connacht and Ulster for the “unacceptable error” which led to players getting changed beside rubbish bins ahead of the Women’s Interprovincial series at Donnybrook.

Videos were posted on social media showing the conditions surrounding the temporary changing facilities.

Amateur teams cannot access changing facilities in the Republic of Ireland.

Connacht said it “acknowledges and welcomes” the apology.

In a double-header at Donnybrook, Connacht and Ulster drew 12-12 in the opening game before Munster beat Leinster to claim their first Women’s Interprovincial title in four years.

However the results were overshadowed after a Connacht player posted a video on social media which highlighted the changing conditions at Energia Park and clearly showed Connacht branded tents beside rubbish bins and walls covered in graffiti.

The player who posted the video reported she could see rats around the temporary changing area.

“The IRFU and Leinster Rugby would like to apologise to players, management and representatives of Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby and are sorry for the inconvenience caused by an unacceptable error in relation to the positioning of temporary changing facilities,” said a joint statement.

“Due to current government guidelines, changing facilities are not available for amateur rugby teams. These temporary facilities should have been set up in a more appropriate area.

“The IRFU and Leinster Rugby are extremely sorry for the inconvenience to the teams and the upset this unacceptable error has caused.”

A Connacht statement said: “Connacht Rugby acknowledges and welcomes the apology issued to our women’s squad and management for the changing facilities provided at last night’s (Saturday) fixture at Energia Park.

“Connacht Rugby along with the IRFU are proud of the strides we have made with women’s rugby, and the increased backing and support we have given our players, coaches and volunteers.

“Finally, we’d like to thank this year’s playing squad and management for their incredible commitment since their first training session many months ago.

“They have represented the province with pride and we look forward to seeing continued development of women’s rugby in Connacht at all levels.”

BBC News