RTÉ Spark Huge Debate Regarding Rugby & Its Role In Irish Sporting Society
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The people’s game.
RTÉ’s Against The Head sparked a huge debate online and across Ireland last night, by claiming that rugby has now overtaken the likes of GAA and football as the Irish people’s sport.
Their argument was based on the fact that almost everyone is Ireland now has an opinion on the rugby, while that might not necessarily be the case when it comes to other sport. They believe that rugby is now “the people’s game” in Ireland.
Brent Pope believes it’s mainly down to the fact that the players are so accessible and all based in Ireland, as opposed to the football players for example, who would (mostly) be based in England, either in the Premier League or lower down the leagues.
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) March 5, 2018
They believe the current Irish Rugby set-up is approaching “Jacks Army” levels, a reference to the hugely popular Jack Charlton soccer era of the early 90’s.
They also noted that the IRFU have done an excellent job in promoting and building the provinces to a level where “everyone identifies with one of those provinces,” as opposed to perhaps supporting your local AIL club.
The reaction has been mixed, but generally most feel rugby is nowhere near a level where it can claim to be ‘Ireland’s sport.’
The levels of delusion here really are staggering. Rugby is a minority sport, and does not have the same reach or relevance as GAA or Soccer, no matter how much rugby's promoters will try to state otherwise.
— corcaighbhoy (@culebhoy) March 5, 2018
The crowds attending games will say different, EVERY rugby international sold out,great family occasions, a team representing the whole of Ireland. Attracting loads of new young players wanting to play rugby.
— Eugene Leach (@EugeneLeach) March 6, 2018
Are you allowed to class football as the people’s game in Ireland when 99.9% of those interested only care about it if it’s taking place in England?
— Thomas O'Donnell (@urgentpuddle) March 6, 2018
It's a minority activity, of interest to a small minority of countries globally. In Ireland, however, it attracts a disproportionate number of hangers-on as a game of social aspiration.
— Tim Kelleher (@timpestuous) March 6, 2018
Notions some people have.its a novelty that people watch but don’t really care about. If Ireland lose a game people get over it fairly quickly and if we win we will celebrate for a night. Compare that to GAA or soccer where people are high or low for weeks depending on results
— Bernie (@footontheditch) March 6, 2018
Rugby has maximized its resources & fine an excellent job of doing so, but it still can’t compare to football or GAA in terms of supporter interest or playing numbers.
— Billy Mc Elligott (@billymce) March 6, 2018
the people’s game …. of that was true it would be in every school in the country not just the ones that can afford it ….
— Colm Dwyer (@colm_dwyer) March 6, 2018
@RTErugby rugby is barely even a minority sport in this country , gaa was , is and always will be the people’s sport in Ireland.
— Matthew plunkett (@Mplunkett1947) March 6, 2018
People's game me arse, but the heightened interest in it in recent years is undoubtedly due to the success of the provinces in club rugby and the national team. Unfortunately success seems to move many to support sporting teams above other things.
— Niall Ó Ceallacháin (@NAYL0R_) March 6, 2018
GAA and soccer are the games of our people. And this unwarranted talk of rugby's place in society contributes to a wider analysis that is at times painful to listen to. https://t.co/zCjVXspT14
— Shane Stapleton (@ShaneSaint) March 6, 2018
How can it be "the people's game" when it's the fourth most popular sport in the country? In Limerick, the big rugby heartland outside south Dublin, there are eight rugby clubs and 69 GAA clubs. https://t.co/alil7rdZao
— Jonathan O'Brien (@obrien_jonathan) March 6, 2018
There is more GAA clubs 260 in Cork, than rugby clubs 209 in the entire country. Rugby is the new people's game? No. https://t.co/q16FJ1gPVg
— Stephen Walsh (@Stephen_Walsh06) March 6, 2018