Rugby The Offload: unprecedented IRFU statement ends a messy week

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IRFU statement an unprecedented turn of events

The “IRFU statement re false claims published in Sunday Times” was an unprecedented turn of events, certainly in recent memory, from Irish rugby. Obviously what Stephen Jones, the Sunday Times UK rugby correspondent, wrote saying that “Irish and New Zealand unions were vehemently opposed to any rearrangement” of the Scotland versus Japan fixture due to Typhoon Hagibis hitting Yokohama on Saturday night, struck a chord.

“The statement by Stephen Jones in today’s edition of The Sunday Times referring to The IRFU being ‘vehemently opposed’ to any rearrangement of the Scotland v Japan 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. The Irish Rugby Football Union calls on Stephen Jones to immediately withdraw this scurrilous and untrue allegation.”

Going to print it remains unclear if Jones and the IRFU have been in contact but if the situation cannot be solved amicably then the next step can mean going only one route.

(Clue: a national governing body demands a journalist withdraws a “scurrilous and untrue allegation”).

The war of words before the typhoon whipped through Japan on Saturday does appear to have left a lot of rugby people needing to mend fractured relationships. For example, the Scotland rugby union relationship with World Rugby  appears at an all-time low.

Rugby Cheslin Kolbe’s Springboks will meet Japan in the last-eight. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA
Cheslin Kolbe’s Springboks will meet Japan in the last-eight. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

The potential for legal action from the SRU has passed now they have been bounced out of the tournament

Jones is suggesting Ireland and New Zealand were up to no good.

“Completely false,” the IRFU have replied.

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