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Union Cup 2019 Review

Organisers and participants alike are reflecting on a hugely successful Union Cup 2019 – Europe’s biggest LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament. Dublin’s Emerald Warriors had the honour of hosting this year’s tournament, which included the IRFU as a partner.

The Union Cup trophy itself went to King’s Cross Steelers with all three of the Emerald Warriors teams reaching the semi-finals of their respective competitions.

Warriors set the bar high in their ambitions for hosting and competing in the tournament says Organising Committee Chair Richie Fagan.

“We went out to hit plenty of milestones and we’ve done it,” Fagan told IRFU TV in the above video. “It just shows where it’s pitching us to be next year. Even when we go on to the next tournament and where we’re going in the Leinster Metro League next year. It’s brought in a whole new level of confidence to the whole squad.”

Emerald Warriors fielded two teams in the Leinster Metro League in the 2018/2019 season. Ann Louise Gilligan Cup winners Railway Union meanwhile, were comprised of players from their Women’s All-Ireland League winning squad and other clubs from around Dublin.

Lindsay Peat was an ambassador for the Union Cup and captain of the winning side in the tournaments’s first ever women’s trophy.

“Some of us venture of to elite levels but there’s all levels catered for here,” said the Ireland international.” “To be able to come out and be myself, thrive that bit more through elite sport and be able to transfer – It’s a story I even look on myself in disbelief. It epitomises my personal journey. It epitomises everything that sport is about when we start off.”

IRFU ‘Spirit Of Rugby’ Committee Chair Des Kavanagh was on hand to witness a festival blend of rugby and inclusivity.

We talk all the time about our commitment to our values,” he said. “It’s hugely important that we demonstrate that commitment.

This is a tangible demonstration of inclusivity, integrity and respect for others. It promises an awful lot for the future.