All Ireland League – IRFU President’s Message

It is my privilege to write to you in the capacity of President of the Irish Rugby Football Union for the upcoming season, 2022/23.

It was a remarkable achievement to have completed the 2021/22 season so successfully given the challenges clubs faced as we emerged from the restrictions placed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic. That success was due to all the hard work by everyone involved in clubs, and your contribution is very much appreciated. This meant that the vast majority of games were played, and finals were held, including the Energia All Ireland League finals for women and men, which provided much needed days of celebration.

This new season brings much promise and new opportunities. It seems that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and we can look forward, with some optimism, to a more normal season for 2022/23, which will be another busy year for all.

Challenges remain, and we have seen in some areas, for instance, in the case of adult players and volunteers, where numbers returning to some clubs has not yet fully recovered. We are all working incredibly hard to encourage people back and to bring new people into our game. I know our clubs provide an open invitation and a warm welcome to everyone, and we need to continue to do everything we can to attract more boys, girls, women and men, into our game.

I hope that 2022/23 can be a season where rugby values will be celebrated. The core values and pillars of our game which are respect, inclusivity, integrity, fun and excellence must be protected and promoted by all. We should be rightly proud of these values, which are respected well beyond the rugby community. Inappropriate and disrespectful comments or behaviours on and off the field of play, especially towards match officials, have no place in our sport.

I know that the start of any season is a busy time in clubs, and I hope that the use of technology and new systems, can alleviate some of the time commitment required. However, while technology helped us through the pandemic, I believe there is nothing like getting back into a room with people talking to each other. I know that clubs really missed this part of normal life, and it will be great to see a normal atmosphere restored to clubhouses from the start of the season.

I look forward to visiting many of our clubs and schools in the year ahead and meeting as many people as possible involved in our wonderful game.

For now, I wish your Club all the very best for the season ahead. I hope that all your teams at all levels have a successful season and that all the members of your Club thoroughly enjoy the year.

Yours sincerely

John Robinson President