The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has published an anti-doping report which shows a 40% increase in tests carried out in Irish Rugby across the 2015/16 season and of the 267 Tests carried out, there were no adverse findings recorded.

There was a 40% increase in the number of tests completed in 2015/16 compared to the 2014/15 season and while RWC15 accounts for a 240% increase in testing of the Senior Ireland team from 28 tests to 94 there was also a significant increase in the level of testing of Ireland’s Sevens players (43) who were competing in various World Rugby competitions.
73% of all Sport Ireland User Pays testing in Ireland in 2015 was in Rugby.  Sport Ireland undertook 114 tests in rugby while the IRFU (32), EPCR (16), 6 Nations (8) and World Rugby (110) all supplemented the testing through the User Pays programme.
At RWC15, the Senior Ireland team were in-competition tested on 24 occasions.  A total of 468 samples were taken from across the 20 participating nations – 200 in-competition tests and 268 out-of-competition tests.
The IRFU’s Anti-Doping Report 2015/16 outlines the Union’s strategy and zero policy approach to anti-doping in Rugby. 
IRFU Chief Executive, Philip Browne, commented,
“The IRFU has a zero tolerance policy to cheating within rugby and is committed to delivering ongoing education in the area of anti-doping.  Although rugby has a strong anti-doping track record it is important that we remain vigilant and demonstrate the core values of our game – integrity, respect and excellence.  We are grateful to Sport Ireland for their support, professionalism and expertise.  As a sport our message in clear – if you are doping there is no place for you in rugby.”
The IRFU works closely with Sport Ireland to deliver a comprehensive and robust anti-doping programme. The IRFU’s anti-doping strategy focuses on the following areas:

  • In and out of competition testing of professional rugby players in Ireland
  • Investment in additional testing to augment Sport Ireland testing through their User Pays programme  
  • Mandatory anti-doping education for all professional players in Ireland  
  • Mandatory anti-doping education for all representative underage players in Ireland  
  • Targeted testing of young players on the player pathway to professional rugby i.e. Provincial & National School and Club U18, U19 & U20s squads, Provincial Academies, Provincial A teams  
  • Appointment of an Anti-Doping Officer a mandatory element of Ulster Bank League participation  

The IRFU’s Anti-Doping Report 2015/16 is available to download from