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The 2019 Union Cup Dublin, Europe’s biggest LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament is a two-day festival of rugby held between June 8th and 9th, at Dublin’s DCU with 45 teams from 15 countries participating. This year the Union Cup Dublin will host a dedicated women’s tournament for the first time, alongside the men’s.

The aim of the tournament is to make sporting accessible for LGBT individuals to promote health and wellbeing through physical activity. The inaugural Union Cup was hosted in 2005 in Montepellier and was a tournament between seven teams. It has since grown to include over an anticipated 45 teams in 2019. Host team, Emerald Warriors, won the bid to host the tournament in 2017.


Nigel Owens, MBE, current world record holder for most test matches refereed, will be officiating the final in June. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigel in support of inclusive rugby, will be Irish women’s international Lindsay Peat and Minister Katherine Zappone.

Joining the tournament line-up as official partners are Bank of Ireland, Guinness and Vodafone, who proudly champion diversity and inclusion both on and off the pitch. ONSIDE are delighted to sponsor the event alongside Maples Group, Failte Ireland, Aer Lingus, IRFU, Kukri and Aldi.

Recent research from ONSIDE around ‘LGBT+ participation in Sport in Ireland’, highlights that 57% of the Irish LGBT+ community surveyed have experienced homophobia or discrimination in sporting environments and 8 in 10 have witnessed such behaviours in the sport in general. Commenting on the initial findings, Union Cup Chairman, Richie Faganstated that “The ambition is that, following Union Cup Dublin, Ireland’s clubs, pitches and stadiums will be a more welcoming place for all.”

The new ONSIDE research complements similar research released recently including a study on the relevance of sexual orientation and gender identity in sport in Europe which found that 90% LGBTI+ people said that homophobia and transphobia in sport is a problem. The Europe wide study found that 16% of the LGBTI+ reported experiencing discrimination in the last year linked to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Moreover, the figure jumps to 46% in the case of trans women. Furthermore, 7 out of 10 respondents see the coming out of famous sports stars and high profile and antihomophobia/ transphobia campaigns as helpful to tackle homo-/transphobic discrimination.


Host team, Emerald Warriors, and tournament supporters, the IRFU, are inviting everyone in Ireland, not just the rugby community, to #TryWithPride to enjoy the family-friendly festival, as international teams battle it out on the pitch.

Union Cup Chairman, Richie Fagan, said “We are passionately promoting diversity and inclusion in sport.  We believe that rugby is a game for all.   There’s never been a more exciting time in Ireland to host an inclusive, high-level rugby tournament, with a dash of glitter. We are excited to showcase pride in rugby, as Ireland has never seen before.”

Tickets available from www.unioncupdublin.ie

€10 Adult | €5 Child (under 2 go free)

All profits go to Belong To LGBT youth services