Ahead of Dublin Pride this weekend the IRFU have been announced as an official supporter of the Union Cup 2019 which will be hosted by the Emerald Warriors Rugby Club, in Dublin City University in June 2019.

The Union Cup is a biennial European, amateur, inclusive rugby union tournament, bringing together up to 50 teams from across Europe. The 2019 tournament was secured by the Emerald Warriors ahead of bids from Manchester and Cardiff.

The IRFU will assist with promotional and operational aspects of the tournament as well as assisting with officiating at the games.

To mark the announcement, and the IRFU’s support of Dublin Pride, the IRFU will fly the iconic rainbow flag outside its Dublin headquarters throughout the weekend.

“Rugby prides itself on being an inclusive sport and we are delighted to assist the Emerald Warriors in hosting the Union Cup,” IRFU Director of Rugby Development, Scott Walker said.

“We run a number of tournaments across the year so we hope to take away some of the complexity that comes with hosting a large tournament to allow the organising committee to concentrate on other matters, such as the warm welcome players always enjoy when they come to Ireland.

“We are committed to promoting the tournament throughout the coming season and we believe this is an opportunity for everyone in Irish rugby to celebrate diversity and inclusion and underline rugby’s commitment to a sport for all.”

Damien Kavanagh, President of the Emerald Warriors and member of the Organising Committee of Union Cup 2019, said: “We are delighted to have the IRFU onboard supporting us in hosting the Union Cup 2019. It is a strong indicator of Irish rugby’s commitment to being diverse and inclusive. As participants in the Leinster League, we have always felt welcomed and included by our Irish rugby family.

“The expertise and advice we will get from the IRFU will ensure that the core focus is on rugby of the highest standard and will add to the overall professionalism of the event. We can’t wait to welcome all the European IGR teams to Ireland and have them experience a traditional Irish welcome.”

For further information on the tournament see UnionCupDublin.ie.