The Irish Rugby Football Union has withdrawn a job advertisement for an unpaid internship which would have required the successful candidate to have a Masters or a PhD.

With Ireland playing and winning rugby at the highest level, it is not surprising the IRFU would want to recruit sport science specialists to enhance high performance.

Last week they advertised for National Sports Science Intern.

Among other criteria, the successful candidate would have to have a Masters or a PhD, a record of published research, experience in building neural network models and working with databases and a verifiable record of delivering sport science support for a high-performance professional rugby team.

The salary for the six-month, 40-hour a week position was zero.

The Workplace Relations Commission said employees with a contract of employment - even if they are designated as interns - are entitled to the minimum wage of €9.55 per hour - or €382.00 for a 40-hour week.

The WRC stresses that as National Minimum Wage act does not contain any exemption for internships, the WRC carries out inspections under this legislation to ensure individuals get their full entitlements.

Asked about how a post with such exacting, specified qualifications could count as an unpaid internship, the IRFU said it had removed the ad which was released for publication "in error" last week.

It said the IRFU does not have any unpaid internship positions - adding that the requirements for this "exciting" role are yet to be finalised, and an approved job description will be published in the coming weeks.

It apologised for any confusion caused by this mistake - adding that the ad had not been approved.