Dublin based rugby club, Emerald Warriors RFC has been selected as the venue for the 4th Mark Bingham Memorial Cup.
The Mark Bingham Cup - commonly referred to as the Gay Rugby World Cup, is named after Mark Bingham, one of the heroes of Flight 93 on September 11th 2001 in recognition of his membership of the San Francisco Fog RFC, which was the first club to host the event. The Mark Bingham Cup has subsequently been hosted by London (2004) and New York (2006).
It is the largest biennial amateur 15's rugby tournament in the world. The 2006 cup had thirty teams drawn from clubs around the world competing in the three day tournament. The International Gay Rugby Association and Board (IGRAB) have been deliberating for the last month on who will host the Bingham Cup 2008. There were three cities in the running, Paris, Sydney and Dublin. The announcement of the winner took place at 8pm on Friday December 1st in Seattle.
Announcing The Winner, IGRAB Chairman Raimundo Martinez said:
"It is my pleasure to announce the winner of the 2008 Bingham Cup bid. This year we received three great bids from Paris, Sydney and Dublin. All of the bids reflected the great spirit that characterises our organization. Before announcing the winner, I want to first, thank first all the bidding cities. We recognize the incredible amount of work that it takes in putting a bid together and we are excited that our spirit of camaraderie continues to expand around the world as we continue to expand. So, after careful consideration by each team and the subsequent vote, it is my pleasure to announce that we will be drinking Guinness in 2008 in Dublin!
Endorsed by the IRFU, the competition will take place at the DCU Sports Complex, Dublin in June 2008. The competition includes women's and men's rugby.
Speaking at the announcement, Emerald Warriors Chairman, Barry Joyce said: On behalf of The Emerald Warriors I'm delighted to welcome the Bingham Cup to Dublin. This is a great honour for our club and a world event for Dublin to host bringing visitors from all over to our capital city. We look forward to welcoming new friends from the international rugby fraternity - many of whom we have played in our recent competition in the Bingham Cup in New York and previously in London.
Tournament Director Richie Whyte added: We have put many man hours into the bidding process and had to compete with the natural attractions of two world cities like Paris and Sydney, either of which would be deserving winners of this bid. We are delighted with the outcome and look forward to working with the IRFU, the excellent facilities at DCU, Dublin City and our many supporters in and out of the gay community.
Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the IRFU said: "The Irish Rugby Football Union extends its best wishes and message of support to the Emerald Warriors rugby team and its participation in the Bingham Cup rugby tournament."
Emerald Warriors RFC was established in 2004 to provide gay, bisexual and heterosexual men the opportunity to take part in rugby union. For more information on the emerald warriors click onto www.emeraldwarrirosrfc.com