As a lifelong rugby fan and ex-player I am more than a little concerned at the latest deal concocted by the IRFU in conjunction with RTE and Sky Television.
The deal which covers The November internationals and the Six Nations in effect means that Irish Rugby fans in Northern Ireland will have to pay Sky in order to watch these games.
Rugby is an All-Ireland sport. It is not the Republic of Ireland Rugby Football Union. We no longer have 'A' games or Under-20 games at Ravenhill. Now we have to pay to watch our team while our fellow fans in the South get free to air rugby.
During all the years of division and strife on this island, rugby presented a united front set aside from politics and division.
Now we are having division thrust on us by what is in effect the R.o.I. R.F.U.
At 'home' games we stand for the anthem of the Irish Republic. Fine by me if that's what the blazers want. What is totally wrong in every respect is the separation of fans in this Union into first and second class supporters.
Will anyone 'Stand Up For The Northern Fan' and our rights as equal partners?
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