Sport Six Nations

Sunday 30 April 2017

Second gaffe for IRFU as French team had to sing anthem without music

Jenny Murphy of Ireland is tackled by Elodie Poublan of France Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Jenny Murphy of Ireland is tackled by Elodie Poublan of France Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Chai Brady

Ireland's hopes of hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023 have been hit by another potential blow after a second IRFU gaffe has come to the fore.

At Sunday's women's match, a faulty PA system meant the French team were forced to sing their national anthem without music.

The IRFU was unavailable for comment when asked what caused the apparent audio system fault which meant the French had to sing 'a capella'.

The commentator said: "The French have decided to take matters into their own hands and sing."

On Monday, the post-match reception at the men's match at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday was criticised in a French newspaper article.

The IRFU said the comments were "very disappointing".

French Rugby Federation general secretary Christian Dullin told 'Midi Olympique' that the delegation from the French union were kept apart from their IRFU counterparts during the Captain's Dinner following Ireland's 19-9 victory.

He said: "It's like us hosting other unions at the snack bars under the stands at the Stade de France.

"I spoke to my Irish counterpart. Apparently, this was the first time they had implemented such a protocol."

IRFU director of communications Stephen McNamara said there was no division of the Irish and French committees, and that the post-match reception was run in exactly the same manner as previous Six Nations encounters.

"It is actually a really, really big room. So it might have been a case that, with probably 500 people in that room, they didn't see our guys. But everybody was in the one room," said Mr McNamara.

Read more: French faux pas? Gallic ruck over VIP rugby dinner

He went on to say that there was a four-course committee dinner on Friday night and a four-course lunch before the game took place.

The article, written by Emmanuel Massicard, had the headline 'The French Rejected'.

It followed the French team using their jerseys to promote their World Cup bid, with #France2023 printed on each.

Irish Independent

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