By Tom Jenkins
Wales have been given an apology for the cold showers provided for them at the end of their women’s Six Nations international against Ireland in Dublin.
The Irish Rugby Football Union make no mention of the incident on their website – despite carrying four separate stories on their team’s 31-12 victory at Donnybrook, home of the two club sides, Bective Rangers and Old Wesley.
Ireland made it two wins from two in the 2020 tournament with a bonus point victory in strong winds and driving rain.
When the Irish team went back to their Old Wesley clubhouse at the one side of the ground, they were greeted with piping hot showers.
Wales – who were given the Bective club facility at the other end – returned to cold showers. Wales outside-half Robyn Wilkins told ITV Wales reporter Beth Fisher after the game, “We’re all cold.
“It doesn’t help that we got cold showers, unfortunately. But we’re a tight-knit bunch, this will make us stronger, we’ll come together and we will go again.”
The IRFU identified the problem as “an issue with the water heater” in the Welsh changing room.
Irish rugby’s governing body subsequently tweeted: “The IRFU have apologised to the @WelshRugbyUnion team for an issue with the water heater in their changing room today.
“Every effort was made to resolve the problem & extra amenities were provided. The IRFU would like to thank the team for their understanding & apologise again.”
Bective Rangers also released a statement apologising for the matter, identifying the cause of the issue as damage to the water tank on the roof of their club house caused by overnight weather conditions.
An IRFU spokesperson is quoted in the Irish Times, making the claim that hot showers were offered to the Welsh players at the other side of the ground.
“The IRFU have apologised to the Welsh team following an issue with the water heater in the clubhouse they were changing in, and we will also be sending an official apology to the Wales Rugby Union,” said an IRFU spokesperson.
“The water had been checked, as it always is, after half-time and it was hot. It seems that [by full-time]it had run out of hot water which we believe is due to storm damage from last night [Saturday]. There was something wrong with the tank.
“We brought in heaters, extras teas and coffees, to try and keep everyone warm. We did offer for them to go up to Wesley and they didn’t take us up on that.”
Despite losing their opening two games, Wales – coached by Chris Horsman – will get an opportunity to bounce back against France in two weeks’ time.
Tries from Beibhinn Parsons, Cliodhna Moloney, Lauren Delaney, Linda Djougang and a penalty try secured a bonus point victory for the Irish while Claire Keohane kicked four points.
The visitors scored two tries of their own courtesy of Lauren Smyth and captain Siwan Lillicrap with Robyn Wilkins contributing two points from the kicking tee.