The IRFU have revealed today that they plan to make rugby a more welcoming and inclusive environment for women, whether as players, coaches, referees, supporters or volunteers with the publication of its Women in Rugby report.
The report made by Amanda Bennett of Fair Play Limited, sets out recommendations that will form Irish rugby's strategic five-year plan for women's rugby, from 2023 to 2028.
The 52-page Women in Rugby report also states that €1 million will be pledged to boost facilities and pathway development for the women's game in Ireland.
The €1m is down payment on the governing body’s intention to raise its current annual investment by an additional €2.4 million to €7.9m per year.
The remaining €1.4m was not currently budgeted for and there would be approaches to government, Sport Ireland and sponsors for assistance.
IRFU chief executive Kevin Potts said “The women’s game is clearly a strategic priority for us, so we will work really hard to ensure we deliver that, and we would be hopeful of external sources of finances,” Potts said during a press conference at Aviva Stadium.
📰 Independent Review Sets A Positive Pathway For Women’s Rugby In Ireland.
Women in Rugby Report available now.#NothingLikeIt #IrishRugby #ShoulderToShoulder
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) December 8, 2022
The IRFU also said it will also look to improve its diversity and inclusion with the hire of a Diversity And Inclusion Lead that will be hired for the role in the coming weeks/months.
IRFU President John Robinson added: " Over the course of the last year the IRFU has undertaken a review of Women in Rugby in Ireland. This Report is the culmination of several months of hard work and I would like to pay particular tribute to Amanda Bennett for her diligence and professionalism throughout the process and also to thank all those who contributed. This is a Report on Women in Rugby and the steps we can take to make Irish Rugby a more welcoming and inclusive environment for women, whether as players, coaches, referees, supporters or volunteers."
“This Report also sets out our ambition for performance pathway and for competition structures. In support of this objective, this year the IRFU has already committed an additional spend of over €2 million to the women’s game, bringing our direct support to the women’s game to over €5.5 million per annum."
The full report can be found here