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controversy IRFU and Leinster apologise for 'unacceptable error' regarding women’s changing facilities

Videos circulating on social media appear to show the Connacht squad getting changed in a filthy area that was surrounded by rubbish and a wheelie bin

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The area where the makeshift dressing rooms were

The area where the makeshift dressing rooms were

The area where the makeshift dressing rooms were

The IRFU and Leinster Rugby have been forced to issue a joint apology to Connacht and Ulster amidst a major controversy that has erupted following the conclusion of the women's inter-pros last weekend.

Videos circulating on social media appeared to show the Connacht squad getting changed for their game against Ulster at Energia Park on Saturday in a filthy area that was surrounded by rubbish and a wheelie bin.

The caption on the widely seen video reads: “Wow great job getting changed beside the dump (face palm emoji) don't mind the rats", while the IRFU's women's rugby slogan "#NothingLikeIt" is also tagged.

The video has drawn huge anger and disgust from Irish rugby supporters online, as questions have been asked of the union and Leinster.

The ugly incident has left a very sour taste following the successful return of the women's inter-pros, which Munster won for the first time in four years thanks to an impressive 19-7 win over Leinster in Dublin on Saturday night.

With the inter-pros also making a hugely welcome return to Irish television screens thanks to TG4's excellent coverage, the poor state of the changing facilities provided at Energia Park left the IRFU and Leinster having to release a joint statement on Twitter, which read:

“The IRFU and Leinster Rugby would like to apologise to players, management and representatives of Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby and are sorry for the inconvenience caused by an unacceptable error in relation to the positioning of temporary changing facilities.

“Due to current government guidelines, changing facilities are not available for amateur rugby teams. These temporary facilities should have been set up in a more appropriate area.

“The IRFU and Leinster Rugby are extremely sorry for the inconvenience to the teams and the upset this unacceptable error has caused.”

The final two games of the inter-pro series took place as a double header at Energia Park on Saturday, with Connacht and Ulster drawing 12-12 in the opener, before Munster won what was essentially a final against Leinster.

Connacht had to overcome appalling changing facilities before earning a share of the spoils against their northern rivals to finish in third place overall.

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The Western province issued their own statement following the joint release by the IRFU and Leinster.

“Connacht Rugby acknowledges and welcomes the apology issued to our women’s squad and management for the changing facilities provided at last night’s (Saturday) fixture at Energia Park.

“Connacht Rugby along with the IRFU are proud of the strides we have made with women’s rugby, and the increased backing and support we have given our players, coaches and volunteers.

"TG4′s live coverage of the Connacht women’s fixtures was also a very welcome development – the benefits of which will be clear to see in both the short and long-term future.

“Finally, we’d like to thank this year’s playing squad and management for their incredible commitment since their first training session many months ago.

"They have represented the province with pride and we look forward to seeing continued development of women’s rugby in Connacht at all levels.”

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