The Irish Rugby Football Union has rejected an offer from Rugby Australia to host a three-test double header against the Wallabies and Wallaroos.
Rugby Australia offered to pay for the Irish women's team to come to Australia except for the cost of flight but it was turned down.
The three-test doubleheader would've seen Ireland face the Wallaroos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this Saturday before AAMI Park in Melbourne on June 16th and Allianz Stadium in Sydney on June 23rd.
The Irish Times reported Australian Women’s Rugby president Josephine Sukkar confirmed she had proposed the Test series, which would have been played before the men’s games, and even offered to cover the Ireland squad’s accommodation.
“Certainly we invited them because that’s the way we are looking to go forward, as the governing body, giving our women the same opportunities as our men,” Sukkar told the Irish Times.
In response, an IRFU spokesperson said:
“When the offer came we’d already decided to focus on November fixtures to build to the Six Nations.”
Rugby Australia had been trying to organise games for the Wallaroos ahead of their historic double-header against New Zealand next month.
The announcement of IRFU declining the offer from Rugby Australia has sparked frustration from those on social media:
Frustrating, disappointing, annoyed....— Leah Lyons (@LEAH__LYONZ) June 7, 2018
when you heard this rumour a while back, hoping it was just a rumour...... https://t.co/bZcDvgjvEH
Turning down a series in Oz is a slap in the face for development of Irish women’s 15s rugby. Must be absolutely demoralising for players.— Sinéad Kissane (@sineadkissane) June 7, 2018
Sick of staying quiet about missed ops for shared learning. Been working on a paper investigating a model of promo and dev in women's sport that could be sustainable for wom rugby in Ireland, but what’s the point. When a key charac of successful models is integrating with the men https://t.co/OA95OFZ2FM— Sene Naoupu (@SeneNaoupu) June 7, 2018
Things the #IRFU have done for the women's team in the last year:— Una Power (@unapower) June 7, 2018
X - downgraded their coach to part-time
X - turned down primetime TV slots
X - turned down a tour of Australia
It's time the IRFU took the women's game seriously.https://t.co/9t0M2RVJUW