Irish Senator Regrets 'Ill-Informed' Comments on Well-Being of Women in Rugby

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An Irish senator said he was sorry about “ill-informed” comments he made about women’s rugby on Thursday, October 19, after he suggested playing rugby is bad for their “health and well-being.”

Senator Terry Leyden, a member of the main opposition party, Fianna Fail, said he read research claiming rugby was not recommended for young women. Speaking in the Irish Senate, Leyden said: “I’m not a great advocate of women’s rugby, I’m not overly enthusiastic about it.”

“Just from a health point of view, I think soccer and (Gaelic) football are much different. I’m not a medical doctor but it would be something I wouldn’t be totally encouraging,” he continued.

Senator Leyden released a statement on Monday, October 23, expressing his “regret” over his “ill-informed” remarks, shortly after local media reported his comments.

“I regret the offense caused to Women’s rugby by my recent comments. I have been contacted by a number of people regarding the participation of Women in Rugby and realize that my point of view was ill-informed,” his statement read.

Leyden also expressed his support for initiatives involving women’s rugby teams across Ireland. Credit: Oireachtas TV via Storyful