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New Measures To Promote and Protect Irish Rugby Values

New Measures To Promote and Protect Irish Rugby Values

A view of a 'Respect Our Game' Technical Zone bib. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ben Brady

A new range of measures are being rolled out to help promote and protect the values of Irish Rugby.

They include a new Diversity & Inclusion module on GAINLINE, the IRFU’s online education platform.

The module takes less than 30 minutes to complete and outlines ways that clubs can be more inclusive of marginalised groups within the community.

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It covers the following topics:

  • What is ‘Diversity and Inclusion’?
  • What is ‘Unconscious Bias’?
  • Characteristics of Discrimination
  • What you and your Club can do.
  • The ‘Power of Language’

Anyone who would like to complete the module as part of their ongoing rugby development can register via the appropriate link below.

Diversity & Inclusion

Connacht https://educationstore.irfu.ie/product?catalog=SP-DIVINC_2223_CON

Leinster https://educationstore.irfu.ie/product?catalog=SP-DIVINC_2223_LEI

Munster https://educationstore.irfu.ie/product?catalog=SP-DIVINC_2223_MUN

Ulster https://educationstore.irfu.ie/product?catalog=SP-DIVINC_2223_ULS

A full range of educational courses is available by contacting your provincial Spirit of Rugby Officer. Contact details and details on the Spirit of Rugby Charter are available here.

Additional Educational Resources Include:

Spirit Of Rugby Charter (signed annually by every club member registering on RugbyConnect)

Spirit of Rugby Pitch Side Signs (distributed to every club)

All club members agree to abide by the Spirit Of Rugby charter as part of their annual registration on RugbyConnect.

A new Behaviours and Discipline Working Group is also looking at ways to protect the value of respect in rugby. The group is chaired by IRFU Committee Member Stephen Black and includes representatives from all four provinces including Referees, Competitions and Spirit of Rugby.

One of its first tasks was to agree a renewed list of sanctions to help tackle breaches of codes of conduct and abuse directed at players, match officials and spectators alike.

“We conducted several meetings with the Provincial Chairs of Discipline over the summer to agree a tougher range of sanctions,” explains IRFU Disciplinary Officer and Competitions Manager Kevin Beggs.

“Abusive behaviour is not to be tolerated and if anyone is subjected to abuse, we want them to know that they have our support in making full use of the disciplinary processes available to them.”

“Clubs and schools are reminded that they are responsible and accountable for the conduct of their supporters as well as their players, coaches and volunteers in accordance with the Spirit of Rugby charter. This includes instances where an individual cannot be identified.

“Unfortunately, provinces and the IRFU have had to deal with cases this season of match official abuse and some of the sanctions have run into months and even years. They have included full bans from all rugby activity, suspension from coaching, playing matches behind closed doors, monetary fines to name just a few.”

The full range of sanctions available to IRFU & Provincial Disciplinary Committees is below:

Sanctions available to Disciplinary Committees:

  1. A caution, a warning as to future conduct, or a reprimand
  2. A monetary fine
  3. Direct that an appropriate educational programme or course be undertaken
  4. The requirement to replay a match at such time and at such venue as is thought fit
  5. The forfeiture of, and/or the granting to another club or clubs, the competition points for a match.
  6. The deduction of match tickets
  7. The banning of club spectators from a match(es)
  8. The suspension or expulsion, in part or in full, of the club, player or person for such period as may be deemed appropriate
  9. Such other penalty or sanction as may be deemed appropriate
  10. Make a payment of cost
  11. Use of World Rugby Regulation 17: Discipline – Foul Play sanction table, in particular the application of Regulation 9.28
  12. The use of World Rugby Regulation 18 – Misconduct and Code of Conduct