The playing of rugby by women within Leinster has seen a very welcome rise both in the playing numbers as well as the teams taking part – in the last 10 years there has been an increase in excess of 100 per cent in the number of teams taking part in the Leinster League competitions.

All clubs that have introduced a Women’s team have seen very positive benefits across many areas of those clubs.

For those players that are new to rugby, they gain from the many benefits that are to be derived from being involved in the best team sport there is; confidence, friendship, leadership, discipline, respect and a greatly improved social life.

The Women’s Section, which is one of the five sections within the Leinster Branch, has the objective to encourage, organise, promote and grow the participation in and playing of rugby by women in the 12 counties of Leinster by providing an environment that allows players, coaches and referees to be the best they can be at the level they chose to participate at.

The Women’s Committee has the responsibility of overseeing the Women’s Section to establish regulations for the administration, control and conduct of competitions for Women and generally to transact any business relating to rugby for women in Leinster.

The Women’s Committee:

The Women’s Committee is elected annually at the AGM of the Women’s Section, held in May, and is made up of a Chairperson, Hon. Secretary, Competitions Officer, PRO, a representative from each of the five Area Committees, Referees Representative, Youths Representative, IRFU Representative and Junior Committee Representative.

There are then two sub-committees – the Competitions Sub-Committee which ensures the proper administration of competitions for rugby for women in Leinster and the PRO Sub-Committee which promotes rugby for women in Leinster using all available methods of communication to obtain as much positive publicity for the game in the province as is practicable.

A number of members of the Women’s Committee will also be members of other committees in the Leinster Branch such as the Executive Committee, Rugby Committee, Finance Committee, Junior Committee, PRO Committee, Competitions Committee and Youths Committee to maintain the required interface with those committees and ensure that the priority in Leinster of women in rugby is maintained. The Chair of the Women’s Committee also sits on the newly formed IRFU Women’s Sub-Committee to represent the Leinster Women’s Section at that applicable IRFU forum.

Competitions:

In the initial part of this current 2019-20 season – from September to mid-March – the Leinster Rugby Women’s League Competition over four divisions takes place involving 33 teams.

There will be 14 rounds of matches in each of the divisions and teams that are the leaders in each of their respective divisions after those 14 rounds of matches will be the Division Winner.

In previous seasons, the Division 1 Winner would be the Leinster candidate for inclusion in the Women’s AIL round robin competition to decide the team that would be promoted to the next season’s Women’s AIL. However, as there is to be a revamp of the Women’s AIL starting next season, there will not be any promotion/relegation for the next two seasons.

With the completion of the League Competition, our Cup and Plate Competitions will kick-off in late-March.

The Paul Flood Cup, named in honour of a departed stalwart of St. Mary’s RFC, is contested by teams from Divisions 1 and 2. Those teams that do not progress beyond the First Round go forward to contest the Paul Flood Plate. The Paul Cusack Cup, named in honour of a departed referee, is contested by teams from Divisions 3 and 4. Those teams that do not progress beyond the first round go forward to contest the Paul Cusack Plate.

The finals of the two Cup and Plate Competitions will take place on 25 April, 2020 in Energia Park on what will be a Festival of Rugby – a date for your calendar!

Getting started:

If your club has not yet introduced a Women’s team, every assistance will be given by the Women’s Committee, working with the various Leinster Branch personnel, to allow your club start that team. And if you are not already part of a club and wish to start playing rugby straight away, there is a club near you with a Women’s team that will welcome you – and remember, rugby is for all, a position will be found for everyone!