IRFU plan to accelerate growth of women's rugby in Ireland with 2024–2028 strategy report

IRFU plan to accelerate growth of women's rugby in Ireland with 2024–2028 strategy report

The IRFU stated today in their 2024–2028 strategy report that they plan to accelerate the growth of women's rugby in Ireland. The IRFU and the four provinces have been in talks for several months. They will now look to appoint a Women’s Strategy Implementation Lead to coordinate the delivery of these commitments both on and off the pitch.

Five thousand rugby stakeholders were consulted for their views on the game, leading to the creation of the new strategy.

IRFU Chief Executive Kevin Potts elaborated on the plans: “We are at an exciting phase in the history of Irish rugby as we approach our 150th anniversary season. We should be proud of the ongoing success and strength of our game, with more participants and more fans than ever. I am delighted to release our strategic vision for rugby in Ireland.

“This plan, forged from the inputs of so many, is a solid expression of our collective vision of the values of Irish rugby and how they will form the basis for its development in the years ahead. Our vision is simple: to inspire, connect, and thrive. Inspiring more people to play, support, and volunteer in rugby; connecting more people and communities through rugby; and ensuring we provide the environments to enable all players, coaches, referees, volunteers, and staff to thrive through rugby.

“The acceleration of our women’s game is a major priority. With the Olympic Games just weeks away and a Rugby World Cup firmly on the horizon in 2025, the potential to drive this aspect of rugby in Ireland represents a major opportunity for the IRFU.”

According to the IRFU, there are 370,166 active players across all formats of rugby in the country, including 15s, Sevens, touch, tag, and mixed ability, with 220 rugby clubs nationwide.

Out of these, 90,209 are registered players. This number includes all registered playing members for the current season in any format of the game and participants who took part in sessions conducted by community rugby officers between May 1, 2023, and April 30, 2024.

IRFU Strategy & Projects Manager Kate Binchy added: “We are very fortunate to have a huge network of highly engaged and collaborative rugby stakeholders across our provinces: clubs, volunteers, staff, supporters, partners, and players. They have all contributed to the development of this strategy, with over 5,000 people offering their views during the consultation process.

“Going forward each year, as part of our annual report, we will update on the ambitious KPIs that sit behind this plan and the targets we are striving for.

“This diversity of opinion and level of collaboration ensure that all constituent parts of Irish rugby have been heard and, we hope, will now align on the collective vision and roadmap reflected in this plan.”

Please click here to download a PDF of the IRFU Strategic Plan