10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
In recent days, Leinster Chief Executive Mick Dawson and Connacht Chief Executive Gerry Kelly have voiced their disapproval and today Munster Rugby issued the following statement:
"Munster Rugby is alarmed by the consequences of the announcement by Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to designate Heineken Cup and the RBS 6 Nations Championship rugby as listed events," it read.
"The controversial move by the Green Party TD threatens a financial TV rights income loss to Irish rugby of between 10 and 12 million euro per annum.
"The fall-out could mean the Munster team's inability to continue to compete at the highest levels of competition and that the famous Red Army of supporters would be made to pay the penalty of being deprived of the unique flavour and success levels they have traditionally enjoyed in supporting one of the leading brands in European rugby."
John Hartery, Chairman of the Munster Rugby Team Committee, said: "Munster Rugby, in association with the IRFU, has worked long and hard to have in place the structures and finances to support the quality teams that have achieved such success and brought so much enjoyment for our unique band of supporters over the years.
"This contentious proposal by Minister Ryan would only serve to put this all in jeopardy."
Munster Rugby calls on its famous army of supporters to demonstrate its disapproval of Minister Ryan's divisive action by sending their messages of disapproval to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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