World Rugby – “We Did Not Have Those Discussions With Ireland”
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World Rugby have cleared Ireland of accusations levelled at them by outspoken Welsh journalist Stephen Jones in the Sunday Times.
Jones accused Ireland and New Zealand from trying to prevent Scotland’s game with Japan taking place on Sunday, which went ahead despite the devastation that occurred in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis.
“The last thing they [World Rugby] needed were the interventions by Ireland and New Zealand,” Jones wrote in the Times.
“We understand the latter may have been dismayed by changes to their itinerary but the motivation of Ireland to stop the Scotland v Japan game taking place is unclear. There is no suggestion it was because they are one of three teams involved in the battle for qualifying — their match with Samoa yesterday was never in doubt as it was played well away from the storm’s path.
“The Irish and Scottish Unions have been at loggerheads for some time after Scotland did not vote for the Irish bid to host the 2023 World Cup.”
Ireland fired back themselves with strong-worded statement, deny Jones’ “false claims”
“The statement by Stephen Jones in today’s edition of The Sunday Times (October 14, 2019) referring to The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) being ‘vehemently opposed’ to any rearrangement of the Scotland V Japan Rugby World Cup fixture is completely false and the inference within the article that the IRFU made representations to World Rugby on the matter is totally without foundation.” Ireland wrote
“The Irish Rugby Football Union calls on Stephen Jones to immediately withdraw this scurrilous and untrue allegation.”
And now Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Alan Gilpin has come out to make it clear Ireland did not try to intervene in any way.
“While we had appropriate discussions with a number of unions, no decisions were based on pressure from any particular unions,” Gilpin said via The Irish Examiner.
“And it’s also important to clarify that we did not have those discussions with Ireland.”
Gilpin also revealed that Scotland could be in trouble after they threatened legal action if World Rugby cancelled the game.
“We’ve referred to the independent disputes committee the comments and behaviours of the Scottish Rugby Union,” Gilpin added
“On that basis it’s probably inappropriate to comment any further.”