IRB forced to postpone Dublin conference
May 7, 2010
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset was concerned that attendance at the conference would be limited due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland © Getty Images
The International Rugby Board have been forced to cancel a conference in Dublin next month that was set to address global concerns over the way the game is being played and refereed.
The IRB Rugby Conference was scheduled for the Irish capital on May 13-14 but has fallen victim to ongoing travel disruption caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. With sporadic closure of Irish airspace over the past few days and continued uncertainty looking ahead to next week, the decision was made to ensure minimal risk of disruption to the travel plans of attending delegates.
Leading coaches, referees and administrators from the world's top 20 ranked nations were due to debate five key issues which have emerged following a survey of all 117 IRB member nations. The central theme was to be "global playing trends" with the delegates primed to discuss the tackle/ruck area, excess kicking and scrum collapses/resets. The physicality of the modern game and player welfare was also on the agenda along with the IRB's current law-making process. The IRB will confirm the rescheduled date in due course while the IRB Council meeting, scheduled for May 12, will now take place in London.
"Given continued uncertainty regarding the volcanic ash situation and sporadic partial closure of Irish airspace, postponement is the most appropriate course of action when considering that many delegates will be travelling great distances to Dublin," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset in a statement. "The Conference will be rescheduled for later in the year to guarantee full participation for what is an important event."
The conference is a key element of the next four-year cycle of the Law Amendment process that will shape the way that Laws are evaluated, but any experimentation and/or amendment will not take place until after Rugby World Cup 2011. The IRB held its first such conference at Woking in 2007 and a number of recommendations were made, including that a place be found for Argentina in an annual international tournament.