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IRFU CEO: There are no quick a...

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IRFU CEO: There are no quick answers on women's game

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

08:41 12 Nov 2021


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IRFU CEO Philip Browne says there are no easy answers to issues facing the women's game.

He was speaking on Friday for the first time since controversial comments from Director of Women's Rugby Anthony Eddy.

He gave an interview in which he appeared to lay the blame for Ireland’s failure to qualify for the next Rugby World Cup at the players’ feet.

Addressing the controversy Browne said there is serious work going on around the country to strengthen and develop women's rugby further.

"It's been a tough week, a tough week for anyone who loves Irish Rugby.

"I think we share the disappointment that the players and the team management.

"By we I mean we in the IRFU, the volunteers all around the country who are involved in developing, promoting and delivering rugby for girls in clubs and schools and the committees.

"We are all 100% behind the women's game. We're committed to making sure the women's game succeeds, that it develops and that we address whatever issues there are in relation to the women's game.

“You can’t conjure something out of nothing. It takes time to develop the game and to develop players and there has been some great work done and sometimes that’s lost."

Eddy was heavily criticised by past and present Ireland internationals following his comments.

Cliodhna Moloney described them as “slurry” on social media.

Browne pointed to the fact the IRFU has initiated two independent reports on the women’s game which will be headed up by Amanda Bennett, a former Welsh international.

When asked if Eddy's position had become untenable he said their focus must be on matters on the pitch at this time and pointed towards their game against the USA on Friday evening.

“We are facing into two big matches for the girls in terms of the US and Japan.

My own view on this is that it would be totally inappropriate and just plain wrong for me to be making any comments that could distract the team from what they need to do, which is focus and prioritise on what is immediately in front of them.

“We are behind the team and hopefully they will deliver the performances and results for them, and I’m sure they will.

I am fully aware that there are issues, I am fully aware of the different views and opinions that are out there.

The independent reviews are up and running to actually answer those questions.”


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Anthony Eddy IRFU Philip Browne Women's Rugby

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