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Duncan Casey on row with IRFU: 'I was told to stop tweeting about Palestine'

Rugby Irish Examiner

The IRFU has said it asks employees not to express their personal beliefs in a way that will be associated with the rugby body, after a former Munster player claimed he was told to stop tweeting his opinion on the Middle East.
'The IRFU has said it asks employees not to express their personal beliefs in a way that will be associated with the rugby body, after a former Munster player claimed he was told to stop tweeting his opinion on the Middle East.'

Ronan O'Gara: La Rochelle role will make me a better coach

Rugby Irish Examiner Sport

'> The Munster and Ireland legend has already established an enviable reputation through his stints as an assistant at Racing 92 and Crusaders but he is assuming the role of head coach for the first time at La Rochelle where he will work under
'The Munster and Ireland legend has already established an enviable reputation through his stints as an assistant at Racing 92 and Crusaders but he is assuming the role of head coach for the first time at La Rochelle where he will work under director of rugby Jono Gibbes.'

Opinion: ‘In these divided times, the inspiration is IRFU and Ireland rugby team’

Rugby Inside Ireland


'Rory McGimpsey argues that in these divided times those in need of inspiration should look no further than Lansdowne Road and what the IRFU have done in creating one united team from the differing traditions on the island.United in Rugby by Rory McGimpsey Recently, rather belatedly, I saw Brian O’Driscoll’s documentary, Shoulder to Shoulder . The film is superb.It tells the story of Irish rugby’s paradoxical, unique ability to unite Irish people of all backgrounds, including during the darkest days of the Troubles, with the intense hatred and division that reigned in those times.If you haven’t seen it, Shoulder to Shoulder is essential viewing.And its relevance extends way beyond rugby.The documentary has many highlights, but the interviews with rugby heroes, from very different backgrounds, confirming how their differences were set aside for the common cause, are both inspiring and thought provoking.Support one team This is surely Irish rugby’s greatest strength: the ability to unite in a society that’s historically been divided and polarised along sectarian lines.Many organisations purport to unite Irish people, but how many actually do it in a genuinely inclusive, unifying way?What else unites men and women of the island, from all traditions, on the same terms?I can’t think of any other organisation or sector of society that does it in quite the same way as rugby.Fantastic Catholics, Protestants, Unionists, Nationalists, Loyalists and Republicans all buying into the idea of a 32-county Irish team and prepared to support that team on an equal basis.It’s a truly fantastic thing.Rugby leads the way.That’s before we even get to the unique concept of the Lions, an international sporting team whose fans wave tricolours and Union Jacks in unison.Honestly, where else do you see anything like that?Now, I’m not one that idealises rugby.The sport has a legion flaws and is far from perfect.We all know the historical problems with social exclusion and the perception that the sport exemplifies a certain type of snobbery.Although, even that idea has always been somewhat of a myth.Try going to Limerick, for example, and claiming rugby as a purely middle-class preoccupation.Troubles Furthermore, we can talk all day about the dangers and risks associated with a contact sport increasingly obsessed with size and violent collisions.Yes, rugby is far from ideal.We know that.But it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate rugby’s unique ability to bring people together.That trumps everything else.Shoulder to Shoulder tells how members of northern security services played together with those from Nationalist and Republican backgrounds during the height of the Troubles.If that sounds remarkable, it’s fair to say this fact was never the issue it could have been within Irish rugby.In the oval ball game, there was always a keen sense that what unites us is much more important than what divides.They were all Irishmen, united in common cause.The politics was left at the door.Protestants supporting Ulster and Ireland Ulster Rugby (Pic: InsideIreland.ie) Brothers spilling blood, sweat and tears for the green shirt.The IRFU has made provision for the diversity of identities within the sport in Ireland with the introduction of Ireland’s Call.While the song itself is far from great, it symbolises something much more: the ability of Irish men (and women) from different community backgrounds to come together for the good of Irish rugby.However, long before the introduction of the unity anthem (brought in for the 1995 Rugby World Cup), many unionists and Protestants from Ulster played under the tricolour and stood respectfully for Amhrán na bhFiann.It happens to this day.One of the proudest facts about Irish rugby is that many of its key men throughout history have been from the northern, unionist tradition.Think of Willie John McBride, Mike Gibson, Syd Millar and Jack Kyle.True giants of Irish rugby.All in it together But the truth is (and Shoulder to Shoulder shows this perfectly) that none of that actually mattered.Religion, political beliefs, allegiances, community backgrounds.These labels were wholly irrelevant.Because, in Irish rugby, we’re all in it together.From all corners of the country.North, south, east, west and everywhere else in between.It’s a weird phenomenon: this predominantly middle-class sport that unites Catholic, Protestant and dissenter.As we move forward, many desire to unite the people of Ireland, from all backgrounds, peacefully and are looking for novel and workable ways to achieve this aspiration.Those in need in inspiration should look no further than Lansdowne Road.Because the IRFU did it years ago.Rory McGimpsey is a Freelance writer and Presenter of InsideIreland.ie Rugby Union Podcast.Twitter: @RoryMcGimpsey . The post Opinion: ‘In these divided times, the inspiration is IRFU and Ireland rugby team’ appeared first on Inside Ireland .'

All Blacks ‘hopeful’ Retallick will be fit for World Cup after shoulder injury

Rugby Irish Examiner Sport

'> New Zealand remain hopeful that Brodie Retallick will be available for Rugby World Cup selection after the lock dislocated his shoulder during the Rugby Championship clash against South Africa on Saturday.
'New Zealand remain hopeful that Brodie Retallick will be available for Rugby World Cup selection after the lock dislocated his shoulder during the Rugby Championship clash against South Africa on Saturday.'

Vaccine boost for profits at GSK Glaxo - and thousands of Munster jobs

Rugby Irish Examiner Business

'> GlaxoSmithKline has beaten second-quarter profit expectations with the help of strong demand for its shingles vaccine, prompting the drugmaker to forecast a smaller fall in profit this year than originally anticipated.
'GlaxoSmithKline has beaten second-quarter profit expectations with the help of strong demand for its shingles vaccine, prompting the drugmaker to forecast a smaller fall in profit this year than originally anticipated.'