IRFU To Review Donnybrook Changing Room Incident

Leinster Rugby IRFU Women's Interprovincial

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The IRFU have confirmed that it has begun a review into the conditions the Connacht and Ulster squads had to experience during their 2021 Women’s Interprovincial Championship game.

The union had previously released an apology alongside Leinster Rugby after a Connacht player brought the ‘changing room’ conditions in Donnybrook to light via social media.

The Connacht women’s team were forced to change in a run-down area behind Energia Park for their third-place play-off with Ulster.

Last night the IRFU said it was “appalled this situation arose and have already commenced a review of the circumstances that led to the clearly unacceptable location of players temporary changing facilities, at Energia Park last Saturday.

“We have sought reports from Leinster and Connacht to establish how this situation could have occurred, why it was not identified as an issue and rectified in the hours before the players arrived.”

Connacht players had noted their disappointment with how they were treated in a statement released on Wednesday.

The statement reads: “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 led 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 women’s 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.”

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