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'Deeply discouraged' women's players have 'lost all trust' in IRFU

The 62-strong group includes a variety of former and current players.



A group of former and current Irish women's rugby internationals have called on the government to address issues they have with the IRFU. 

In a letter to Sports Minister Catherine Martin and Junior Minister Jack Chambers, seen by The42.ie, the 62-strong group say they have 'lost all trust and confidence' in the union.

Those behind the letter includes a variety of former and current players.

Sene Naoupu and Eimear Considine are among the current internationals in the group, while recently retired captain Ciara Griffin is also among the 62 players.

Former internationals Lynne Cantwell and Fiona Coghlan have also added their support as well as a number of other former players.

It comes following controversy following Ireland's failure to qualify for next year's World Cup. 

A number of those involved in the game were critical of comments by Director of Women's and 7s rugby Anthony Eddy. 

The latest twist will switch the attention to the government, and on whether or not they will intervene as requested by the players.

In the letter, they say there have been "multiple cycles of substandard commitment from the union” and they want to see that come to an end.

Challenge

They also address the drop in the level of performance, following a fourth-placed finish at the World Cup in 2014.

“In 2014, the Irish XV team finished the season ranked fourth in the world, having won a Six Nations Grand Slam the year before.

"This triggered the beginning of a new World Cup cycle and new leadership within Irish rugby with David Nucifora and Anthony Eddy overseeing the women’s programme.

"The end of this cycle ended in bitter disappointment as the team finished eighth in their home World Cup in 2017, crashing out in the pool stages.

“In response, the IRFU produced an action plan for the game with a number of high level targets.

"However we find ourselves at the end of 2021 with those plans in disarray and with a large majority of those targets missed, including the XV team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup and the sevens team’s failure to qualify for the Olympics.

“Notwithstanding the challenges of the pandemic, these facts represent significant failure."

A full transcript of the letter can be read on The42.ie.

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