Anthony Eddy, the Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby at the IRFU, has left his role with immediate effect.
The announcement comes on the eve of the publication of the report commissioned by the Union into the failure of the Irish team to qualify for the Women’s Rugby World Cup later this year.
That became conflated with structural issues around the Women’s Provincial tournament and an interview that Eddy gave that was perceived by many as being out of tune with the mood of those who have long championed a better approach to Women’s development.
This in turn led to a letter to the IRFU that was highly critical of the support being given to the Women’s game from 62 past and present personalities in the game.
The Government got involved and public opinion was very much on the side of the players. This made untenable the original decision that tomorrow’s report would be kept for internal reference only.
It will be published tomorrow and we will have a full report and analysis of its content.
Coming just weeks before the start of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations, it will be an opportunity to air grievances but also to establish a better way forward.
Clearly, that will not include Eddy.
The IRFU statement announcing his departure paid tribute for the role he played in the first Men’s team to qualify for the Olympics and the Women’s team’s recent success in Seville.
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora who has been closely associated with Eddy said “I want to thank Anthony for the commitment and expertise he brought to his role. The IRFU have been very fortunate to have had someone of the calibre of Anthony to have built these programmes up from nothing. I wish him the very best of luck for any new challenge he takes up.
“The programmes will continue for now with existing staffing while we take some time to look for suitably qualified coaches to replace Anthony.”
Is this the storm before the calm or will the report contain a more incendiary set of findings than might be comfortable for Nucifora and others?
Sport for Business Perspective
We know that TikTok has ambitious plans to promote the tournament like has never been possible and to reach a wider audience than the Women’s game has ever seen. This new look is a great addition to the look and presentation of the sport and it will be exciting to see it develop over the course of the coming weeks.