Emerald Warriors RFC

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Emerald Warriors Rugby Football Club
LocationDublin, Ireland
Ground(s)St. Mary's RFC, Templeville Road, Dublin 6w
PresidentDamien Kavanagh
Coach(es)Pete Faherty, Simon Finnegan
Captain(s)Oran Sweeney
League(s)Leinster Metro League Division 10
Team kit
Official website

The Emerald Warriors are an Irish rugby team based in Dublin. They play in the Leinster Metro League Division 10 and are members of the International Gay Rugby Association and Board. They are the reigning bronze final champions since Union Cup Madrid 2017. The Warriors are Ireland's first primarily gay rugby team although it is open to anyone with an interest in playing rugby and includes heterosexual members.[1][2][3]


Emerald Warriors RFC was formed in August 2003 by Richie Whyte to provide gay and bisexual men the opportunity to play rugby in Ireland and internationally and to create links with similar teams and organisations in the UK, Europe and America.[4] The team began playing in 2004[5] and took part in the Bingham Cup, often referred to as the 'Gay World Cup' that year, representing Ireland.[6] They competed again in 2006 and went on to host the event in 2008, in Dublin City University's sports complex with endorsement from the IRFU. The event was deemed a success for rugby in general, for bringing gay rugby in Ireland to a new level of organisation and popularity by The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN).[7][8][9][10] They entered the Leinster Metro Junior league in 2007. They also competed in the Union Cup a biennial European, non-professional, gay rugby union tournament in London 2009, Amsterdam 2011 and Bristol 2013.[11]


  • The Union Cup, Madrid, 2017 – Bronze final winners.[12]
  • The Hadrian Cup, Newcastle, 2017 – Overall winners.[13]
  • The Union Cup, Newcastle, 2017 – Bronze Plate.
  • The Union Cup, Copenhagen, 2007 – 7s Champions.

Crest and colours[edit]

The club colours are green, white and blue. The team crest is based on a traditional Celtic shield with several rugby balls forming a decorative floral pattern at the center of the crest.[14]

Documentary film[edit]

The team was subject of a documentary film on Irish language station TG4 called Queering the Pitch which followed the Emerald Warriors, representing Ireland at the Bingham Cup in 2006.[15] The documentary, which was directed by Tom Maguire, was also screened at GAZE: The Dublin International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in 2007.[16][17]

Mention in court ruling[edit]

The club was mentioned in a 2009 Irish Supreme Court judgment on Portmarnock Golf Club when ruling on equality legislation regarding whether the club could prohibit women from joining. It ruled there is no prohibition on the establishment of clubs or associations whose membership is limited to persons of a particular gender and made a specific reference to the Emerald Warriors recognising that rugby is not a "need" of gay men.[18][19]

Other events[edit]

The Emearld Warriors hosted the Mark Bingham Memorial Cup in 2008 and will host the Union Cup in 2019. The team and its members have also taken part in events such as the Dublin Pride Parade[20] and Mr Gay Ireland, with club member Barry Meegan who was asked by his teammates to represent the club, winning the competition in 2007 and raising money for HIV and AIDS related charities based in Dublin in the process.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Noel Noblett (4 April 2005). "Coming out to play". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  2. ^ Howard Webster (16 October 2015). "'My rugby team is helping to break the stereotype that gay men don't play sports'". Irish Times. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Politician denounces Belfast's first gay rugby team". Stuff.co.nz. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Voluntary Groups". Johnny.ie. Retrieved 19 January 2010.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Sporting warriors who are in the pink". Irish Independent. 13 January 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  6. ^ Farrelly, Hugh (23 October 2009), "rugby likely to stay firmly in the closet", Irish Independent, retrieved 20 January 2010
  7. ^ "Irish Sports Council Corporate Plan Submission". Gay and Lesbian Equality Network. August 2008. Archived from the original (Word document) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Ireland to Host Bingham Cup". IrishRugby.ie. 4 December 2006. Archived from the original on 21 November 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Gay Warriors aim to be top of the world". Dublin People. 12/06/2008. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 18/01/10. Check date values in: |accessdate=, |date= (help)
  10. ^ Webster, Howard (4 April 2005), "Coming out to play", The Irish Times, retrieved 20 January 2010
  11. ^ "Union Cup, London, May 2009". Manchester Village Spartans. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  12. ^ Madrid's Union Cup. "Union Cup 2017, competition results". Madrid's Union Cup. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  13. ^ %5b%5bEWRFC Facebook Page%5d%5d "Well done to all" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Emerald Warriors". Red and Grey Design. 29 January 2003. Archived from the original on 26 February 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  15. ^ Kelleher, Lynne (31 March 2007), "Gay rugby team tries to kick clubbing image into touch", Irish Independent, retrieved 20 January 2010
  16. ^ "QUEERING THE PITCH". Irish Film Institute. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  17. ^ Horan, Niamh (22 July 2007), "Queering the rugby pitch against all odds", Irish Independent, retrieved 20 January 2010
  18. ^ "LEMAN LEGAL UPDATE". Federation of Irish Sports. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  19. ^ Fenelon, Larry (December 2009). "Discriminating tastes" (PDF). Law Society Gazette. p. 19. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  20. ^ Carbery, Genevieve (29 June 2009), "Dublin Pride celebrations soured by anger over Civil Partnership Bill", The Irish Times, retrieved 20 January 2010
  21. ^ "Mr Gay Ireland". RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved 20 January 2010.

External links[edit]