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‘Appalled’ IRFU reveals matchday operations review underway after ‘unacceptable’ interpro scenes

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Fiona Tuite of Ulster is tackled by Catherine Martin, left, and Ciara Farrell of Connacht during the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship at Energia Park in Dublin last Saturday. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Fiona Tuite of Ulster is tackled by Catherine Martin, left, and Ciara Farrell of Connacht during the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship at Energia Park in Dublin last Saturday. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Fiona Tuite of Ulster is tackled by Catherine Martin, left, and Ciara Farrell of Connacht during the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship at Energia Park in Dublin last Saturday. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

A full IRFU review of its matchday operations has begun, as the union admitted it was “appalled” that the Connacht and Ulster women's squads were forced to change in a derelict area of Energia Park last weekend.

Although the Connacht squad had opted not to comment in light of the IRFU and Leinster's joint statement on Sunday night, the players broke their silence in a statement that called for “a review of the decision-making process.”

The disgraceful scenes drew strong criticism from Ireland internationals Garry Ringrose and Paul Boyle, both of whom were disgusted by the incident.

The IRFU told the Irish Independent on Monday that an investigation had been opened, while the union have since stated that it is awaiting reports from several parties in order to determine how such a shocking scenario was allowed to come to pass.

Controversy erupted following a widespread online video showing the filthy changing facilities that were set up for the women's inter-pro finale, with rats reportedly scurrying nearby.

In a fresh statement released to the Irish Independent, the IRFU said: “The IRFU is appalled that this situation arose and has already commenced a review of the circumstances that led to the clearly unacceptable location of players temporary changing facilities, at Energia Park last Saturday.

“We have sought reports from Leinster and Connacht to establish how this situation could have occurred, why it was not identified as an issue and rectified in the hours before the players arrived.”

The Connacht squad voiced their anger in a statement, which said: “We are very disappointed and upset by the facilities that were provided for us to change both pre and post-match and for our post-match meal. The location was not suitable for the purpose.”

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