Today marks 25 years since the first Ireland Women’s team took to the field to play an international fixture. Valentine’s Day in 1993 saw Ireland play Scotland in Edinburgh in the first international for both teams. The women who played were reunited last week to mark the anniversary.
The Women’s game in Ireland was run on a voluntary basis by the IWRFU until 2009 when it came under the auspices of the IRFU.
IRFU CEO Philip Browne congratulated both teams for the part they played in developing the game, with the following message, which was read out at the event on the night:
“The IRFU wish to congratulate everyone present at the 25th anniversary celebration for the part that they have played in developing the Women’s game.
“From small acorns, mighty oaks grow, and the Women’s game has gone from strength to strength since you all came together in Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, on February 14, 1993, to play a game that was a true celebration of all that is good in the sport of rugby.
“Rugby has brought people together for over a hundred years, and the development of the Women’s game in just 25 short years has been remarkable, and it is down to the commitment of the people in this room, and those like you around the world.
“From an Irish perspective, it was a huge privilege and a great personal joy to host the Women’s Rugby World Cup across four venues in Dublin and Belfast last August. The tournament was an outstanding success, which broke all records.
“We look forward to the next 25 years in the development of Women’s rugby. Thank you and enjoy your night.”
Ireland take on Scotland in the 2018 Women’s Six Nations on Sunday, March 11 – tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie.
Match photos courtesy of Joanne Moore