PwC will continue to support the Irish Rugby Football Union for a further four years, extending on a partnership that goes back to 2006. The deal includes support of the IRFU’s Elite Player Pathway Programme that seeks to foster young sporting talent toward competitive competencies in both rugby and business.
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) was founded in 1879. The organisation manages rugby union in the island of Ireland (both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), creating a cross-national organisation that serves rugby in both the Ireland and the UK. The IRFU owns a number of grounds and supports a wide range of rugby related activities across regions and levels, from determining rules and regulation to rugby community support, training and organisation. Among the teams supported through the club are the Ireland U20, Ireland U19 and Ireland U18 teams. These teams represent Ireland’s top squad of young players under the age of 20, 19 and 18 respectively.
The IRFU recently welcomes the news of PwC’s continued support of the U20, U19 and U18 squads. The professional services firm has committed to supporting the Union for another four years, following the end of its recent four year sponsorship. The firm started the sponsorship deals in 2006, making the firm one of the IRFU's longest serving partners. The value of the sponsorship has not been disclosed.
In addition, the sponsorship deal will involve support of the IRFU’s Elite Player Pathway Programme, aimed at identifying and fostering the development of rugby talent in Ireland. Through the programme, players’ development is enhanced and fast-tracked, in a bid to ready them for the fierce competition at representative levels in the professional game as well as in business life.
The U20 team to take part in the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championship was named as part of the sponsorship announcement ceremony by Ireland U20 Head Coach Nigel Carolan. The tournament takes place in Manchester from June 7 to June 25.
PwC Ireland Managing Partner Feargal O’Rourke says the firm “wishes the Ireland U20 team the very best of luck” for its upcoming 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester. He adds about that sponsorship deal: “Talent development and supporting our people to be the best they can be is also very much part of our business. We are therefore very excited to also be associated with the Elite Player Pathway Programme. It is fantastic to see former U20 players such as Josh van der Flier and Finlay Bealham making their senior debuts this season, joining more than a dozen other players in the Irish squad this season who have come through the U20 set-up during the period of our sponsorship.”
Philip Orr, Junior Vice-President of the IRFU, says "The IRFU is delighted to be continuing its partnership with PwC. It has been very positive for Irish Rugby to have such a strong brand associated with our up and coming players over the last number of years. It’s also very pleasing that PwC have come on board as sponsors of the Elite Player Pathway Programme and we look forward to working with them on the programme in the years to come.”