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Emerald Warriors Head To Bingham Cup With Four Teams

Emerald Warriors Head To Bingham Cup With Four Teams

Emerald Warriors RFC Azure Team

Ireland’s oldest LGBT+ rugby club, the Emerald Warriors, will be travelling with an estimated 125 people to the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, or Bingham Cup as it is more widely known, in Rome starting with an opening ceremony 22 May. The Bingham Cup is the biennial world championships of gay and inclusive rugby, and over 140 participating teams and around 10,000 athletes, coaches and supporters will travel to Rome to compete 23-26 May.

Emerald Warriors President Richie Fagan said,

“The Warriors is committed to promoting inclusive rugby and the enjoyment of team sports. As an LGBT+ club it offers more than a nurturing environment for players to excel, but a community where the barriers to participation are lowered so that everyone is welcome. Thanks to this culture we will have our largest group ever travelling to the Bingham Cup with four Emerald Warriors teams competing, making us one of the top 5 contingents at this global tournament. We are optimistic as we head into the tournament with the Warriors at its highest ever ranking as an International Gay Rugby (IGR) club.”

Richie added, “The Bingham Cup offers an opportunity for us to represent Ireland at an international tournament to role model not only the best of Irish rugby, but also inclusivity bolstered by committed allies, from players beyond the LGBT+ community, and volunteers, to stakeholders. We are immensely grateful for those who have helped us get here namely, The George who hosted our largest ever fundraiser, along with Bank of Ireland, Aer Lingus, Diageo, Meagher’s Pharmacy, and Windsor Motors.

In preparation for the tournament, Head Coach Shane Dune said, “This promises to be the best tournament yet for the Emerald Warriors! It is a great honour for all of us to represent our club and country. The coaching team have put a lot of planning and effort into training the players during the regular season. As Warriors we are a unique group, capable of anything, nothing is impossible for us. Let’s deliver on our potential.”

Reflecting on the women+ first season in the Leinster League ahead of the Bingham Cup, Azure captain Marion Peltret, remarked that “That’s the thing that I’m most proud of is how we have each other’s back on and off the pitch,” Marion explained.

“I’m so proud of every player in that team, from the early started in 2023 who stuck around and the newbies who made the team grow. I’m so proud of the strong and safe group we have created, on how we managed to create a team from scratch and make it well. I’m proud that we made this team a team for everyone.”

Green Captain Graham Flaherty added, “This season saw our squad grow with many new additions bringing both injections of youth and new experience. I’m proud of the warrior welcome that my teammates showed from the beginning of the season to help our team to gel as we built more cohesive performances. The team has now built up some excellent attacking structures and we are looking forward to improving these in preparation for the Bingham Cup in Rome.”

Navy Captain Stephen Mulhall reflected, “We are always most proud of players, new to the game, experiencing their first competitive match; this has occurred a number of times this year. There have been some standout individual performances, and a team is cohering as a collective.”

Teal Captain Matt Ryan noted “In just six weeks of training for Bingham, I’m amazed at how far the Teal team has progressed, both in the players performance but also in their confidence and drive. Being chosen to lead such a great bunch is an honour, and I look forward to seeing our hard work payoff in Rome.”