Today is one of the biggest days in the history of women's rugby in this country, as the 2017 World Cup begins in Dublin. Ireland face Australia at 7pm in what promises to be the biggest iteration of the tournament yet.
Ahead of that game, former Ireland international David Corkery has courted, er, debate with a post on his Facebook page in which he says he believes that women should not participate in physical sports like rugby or MMA, adding that he finds the game "arduous and complicated to watch".
Corkery - who won 27 caps for Ireland between 1994 and 1999, and ahead of the kick-off to the tournament - writes that "way back in 1823 when the William Webb Ellis picked up a soccer ball and ran with it during a school football match, I doubt very much that he would have envisaged where his actions would have led".
He goes on to say that women's rugby seems to be moving in the right direction, but that "personally, I find watching the women's game complicated and arduous". His main issue is the physicality of the game:
I think we all partly watch rugby because of the physical battles it produces. The big hits, the powerful runs, the struggle at the scrum and so on, however I simply do not like watching ladies knocking lumps out of each other, and before any women’s pro right campaigners start circling the wagons and looking to burn me at the stake, this is only an opinion.
Ladies boxing and ladies MMA are two other sports that I really find hard to view but it is not up to me to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do with their bodies.
Maybe I’m just getting old but when I see women partake in any kind of confrontational and aggressive behaviourisms, it just doesn’t sit right with me.
When god (if there is one) created women, he didn’t do so with the intention for them to be smashed in a tackle or punched in the face. Come to think of it, he probably didn’t design man for that purpose either!
Anyhow, I have absolutely nothing against women in sport, in fact I think the sporting world would be a very dull and monochrome place if we didn’t have their participation, but it’s just the physicality of rugby and hand to hand combat of boxing that bothers me.
I also think the ladies game lacks the same kind of entertainment value that the men’s version offers albeit, there are some male games where you would be better off watching the grass grow in your front lawn such are the ridged restrictions placed on today’s players by their coaches.
He goes off in a tangent about the Lions, the game's economic realities, and then previews the tournament, before ending:
I will not be attending any of the games but I will watch Ireland’s progress with intrigue and I wish Tom and his girls all the very best.
Who knows I might even be converted and start to enjoy the ladies adaptation of the game?
But I doubt it!
Please feel free to share or comment.
The full post is embedded below: