Emerald Warriors RFC are building on their hosting of the Union Cup in 2019 by bringing their largest ever travelling contingent to the 2023 competition in Birmingham, England.
The Dublin based club will also be represented by a Women’s Team for the very first time.
Union Cup is a biennial LGBT+ rugby tournament with a goal to make sport accessible for LGBT+ individuals. Emerald Warriors and Cork Hellhounds are among the 47 teams from 10 countries across Europe who’ll be based at the Perry Barr Stadium for three days of action.
“I’m bursting with Pride,” says Emerald Warriors RFC President Richie Fagan. “The incredible work ethic of our members over the past few months in preparation for Union Cup is paying off.
“We have never travelled with such a large and diverse membership, an incredible milestone for us, as we head into our club’s 20th anniversary.”
Warriors Coach Shane Dunne added: “Fielding four teams, including a women’s team for the firs time – I take huge pride as I look at the journey the Warriors have travelled in their short 20 year history.
From humble beginnings, to Warriors as a top four seeded team in the tournament. I look forward, to more history and great memories being made this weekend in Birmingham.”
Jessica Elmes, Emerald Warriors RFC Azure Captain:
“I’m absolutely honoured to be captaining Emerald Warriors first female identifying team as we represent our club and country at Union Cup in Birmingham.
Many of us had never played rugby before and it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in just 10 short weeks, thanks to the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of our coaches and players.
I’m immensely proud of our Azure team and can’t wait to see how it comes together on the pitch this weekend!
Graham Flaherty, Emerald Warriors RFC Green Captain:
“The excitement is really starting to build now that we are only a few days out from the tournament KO.
“Traveling to another country to compete with your team is always a special experience, and the fact that we are going to compete against other gay and inclusive rugby teams from across Europe makes it even more special.
For lots of players it will be their first tour with the Warriors so I’m really excited for them to experience an IGR international tournament and get the opportunity to get more experience and grow as players.”
“I’m extremely proud of the effort put in by the players and club volunteers into the preparation for the Union Cup, we are aiming to make this our most successful Union Cup to date.
Our players and coaches have put in a lot of work over the last few weeks and our goal is to bring home silverware.”
Stephen Mulhall, Emerald Warriors RFC Navy Captain
“I’m very proud to be captaining a team of players from across Ireland and the world; some with experience of rugby and others having only recently come to the sport.
The spirit of the team – and the club in general – transcends the sport itself, and is creating friendships, memories and a community that will last long beyond the competition in Birmingham.”
Rory Nevin, Emerald Warriors RFC Teal Captain:
“It’s such an honour to be part of the Emerald Warriors’ biggest ever contingent to an IGR tournament, and even more special that it’s my first tournament with the club.
We have such an amazing community here whether it’s on the pitch, the coaches, committee, supporters – it’s really phenomenal to be part of something like this”
IGR Union Cup 2023 Confirmed Fixtures (Irish Teams):
Friday April 28th 2023:
11:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Green vs Manchester Village Spartans (Union Group B)
11:00 – Cork Hellhounds RFC v Manchester Village Spartans (Beroma Group B)
12:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Navy vs Madrid Titanes (Mercian Group B)
12:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Teal vs Straffe Ketten (Challenger Group B)
14:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Green vs Toulouse Tou’ Win (Union Group B)
14:00 – Cork Hellhounds RFC v Typhoons (Beroma Group B)
15:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Teal vs Colchester Kings (Challenger Group B)
16:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Navy vs Gaillards Parisiens 1 (Mercian Group B)
Saturday April 29th 2023:
09:40 – Emerald Warriors RFC Azure v Gaillard Parisiens (Women’s 10s)
10:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Navy vs RSV Cologne Crushers (Mercian Group B)
10:00 – Cork Hellhounds RFC v Dark Horses (Beroma Group B)
10:20 – Emerald Warriors RFC Azure v Amsterdam Lowlanders (Women’s 10s)
11:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Teal vs Kings Cross Steelers 4B (Challenger Group B)
11:40 – Emerald Warriors RFC Azure v Gaillard Parisiens (Women’s 10s)
12:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Green vs Kings Cross Steelers 2 (Union Group B)
12:20 – Emerald Warriors RFC Azure v Amsterdam Lowlanders (Women’s 10s)
15:00 – Emerald Warriors RFC Teal vs Amsterdam Lowlanders (Challenger Group B)
Sunday April 30th 2023: