IRFU Rejects RTÉ's Primetime Offer For Ireland Women's Six Nations Matches
The Ireland women's rugby team must play its home Six Nations matches on Sunday in Donnybrook despite RTÉ offering primetime slots on Friday or Saturday night, according to Gavin Cummiskey of the IRISH TIMES. The Irish Rugby Football Union rejected Friday doubleheaders alongside the men's U20s against Italy, Wales and Scotland, "despite the success -- and full capacity -- at the Dublin 4 venue when England came to Dublin in March." The IRFU's reasoning is that amateur women players "struggle to get time off work for Friday games." RTÉ Head of Sport Ryle Nugent said, "We requested that home games are played as doubleheaders on Friday nights with the under-20s but that option was declined. Our second option was to broadcast the games live on Saturday nights in primetime and that was also declined." The IRFU insisted on early Sunday kickoffs over primetime Saturday evening matches, which would have followed the men's home matches as they all kick off this season at 2:15pm. An IRFU spokesperson said, "The reason is to allow time for team preparation and minimize disruption to players' work and study schedules" (IRISH TIMES, 11/14).