RTÉ Spark Huge Debate Regarding Rugby & Its Role In Irish Sporting Society

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.

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.’