Cork Hellhounds Win in Historic Début at Gay Rugby World Cup

Cork Hellhounds win the Challenger Cup at this year’s IGR Bingham Cup in Rome

Cork Hellhounds RFC, Cork’s LGBT-inclusive rugby team, made a historic debut at the IGR World Cup in Rome this month by winning the tournament’s Challenger Cup in a thrilling match against the Plymouth Dolphins. 

The Bingham Cup is a bi-annual competition hosted by International Gay Rugby, an organisation of gay and inclusive rugby clubs, of which the Cork Hellhounds have been members since 2021. This year was the first time the Hellhounds took part in the Bingham Cup, in which the Leeside team won each of their matches in Rome to earn the Challenger Cup last Sunday. 

The Cork Hellhounds were formed in 2020 as the city’s first LGBT-inclusive rugby club, and quickly ratified by Munster Rugby and the IRFU. The success of the Hellhounds has grown year on year since their foundation. Last year, they took part in the IGR Union Cup, the European championships of the organisation, where they reached the finals of their tier. They have also regularly worked with Munster Rugby to host the Cork Pride tag rugby tournament during the city’s Pride festivities, becoming a major sporting event for the festival. Their tag rugby offering also brings men and women into the Hellhound pack, taking part in the leagues organised by Cork Tag Rugby at Highfield RFC and Cork Constitution.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring home the Challenger Cup from Rome”, said Conor O’Brien, Captain of the Cork Hellhounds. “We played our hearts out on the pitch for each of our games, many of which were against other IGR teams we hadn’t faced before. The hard work and training of our players and coaches paid off, and we are so proud to have been able to represent Cork at the Bingham Cup for the first time. We were able to celebrate our win in style in Rome and we can’t wait to continue those celebrations and promote rugby among Cork’s LGBT community, especially with Cork Pride being around the corner.” 

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