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Women in Rugby Action Plan

Launch of the Women in Rugby Stategic Plan

The Irish Rugby Football Union has a vision of being a sport of equal opportunity and access across all areas of our game.

We see the opportunity for Rugby to take a greater role in Irish society through increased participation of women in our sport. We aspire to give every female the opportunity to play and be involved in our game, where females can have a lifelong rugby experience, inspired by successful role models from within the game.

The IRFU established an Independent review group in November 2017, co-chaired by Mary Quinn and Su Carty, to evaluate and discern the strategic focus for the development of the women’s game in Ireland.

The plan outlined in the Women in Rugby Action Plan 2018-2023 aims to achieve the following over the course of the next five years.

  • To be a sport of equal opportunity and access for all
  • To optimise the quality of experience provided for female age-grade rugby players
  • To drive a performance system that demands and supports development and competitive excellence
  • To increase female participation to 20%, or more, across the game, including players, coaches, referees, volunteers and committees

Download the Women In Rugby Action Plan

Philip Browne, IRFU Chief Executive Officer Declan Madden, Chairman IRFU Management Committee

Headline Targets


5,000 Adult Players

300 Women’s & Girl’s Teams

150 Secondary Schools

6,500 Youth Players

1,000 3rd Level Players

300 Female Players

80 Female Referees


WRWC 2021 Qualification & Top 6 Finish

One Women’s Six Nations (Top 3 otherwise)

Qualification for 2020 Olympics 7s

Qualification for 2020 Sevens Rugby World Cup

Win two Sevens World Series Tournaments

Consistent Top 6 Finish Sevens World Series

Consistent Top 2 Finish Rugby Europe U18s 7s