In a world full of sporting drama queens and countries going bust to release players, it’s refreshing to meet a squad that not only are unpaid – they’ve all taken unpaid leave from 9-5 jobs – but play for the crest on their jerseys and the pride of representing their country.
The past few weeks papers have been flooded with opinions on playing a sport for money, setting prices on people that could wipe out the debts of countries, and which athlete is a bigger disgrace to his sport, Neymar or Conor McGregor.
Underneath it all, bubbling in the UCD campuses, the women’s Rugby World Cup prepares to kick off with two professional teams versus 10 amateur teams. That’s not a dig at the Rugby Unions, but meeting the Australian rugby team was an experience that was as eye opening as listening to GAA lads talk about how many times a week they go to the gym or train. It’s all for the love of the game.
The Australian Embassy kicked off the night with Ambassador Andrews stating figures and statistics based on the success of Australian sevens team winning gold at Rio last year. In total, there was an increase of 33 per cent of women now involved in playing rugby of some sort and all of this was due to the fact Australians got swept in a euphoric ecstasy of smelling an illustrious Olympic gold medal.