rugby world cup 2023

Shane Coleman: Rugby is a far cry from being ‘the people’s game’

We are justifiably proud of our national team, but until we see bunting and flags up in places like Cabra and Mayfield when they play, it’s not credible to talk of the ‘Team of Us’

The Irish rugby team: fine and decent characters, representing the country and their families with humility and distinction. Picture: Sportsfile via Getty

We are now officially living in “rugby country”. At least that was the claim last week following a survey from Irish rugby sponsor Energia, which declared that the oval ball game was the country’s favourite sport.

The survey results demonstrated, according to the accompanying press release, how rugby has become “not just sport but a way of life”. Really? Have we been transformed into a northern hemisphere New Zealand, where rugby is akin to a ...