The IRFU has apologised for "causing unintentional concern and confusion" after advertising for a part-time women's XVs coach and announced that Mary Quinn and Su Carty will chair their strategic review around the future of the game in Ireland.

The association was widely criticised last week upon announcing that Tom Tierney's successor would be appointed on a six-month, part-time basis.

It responded to that criticism by saying it regretted "any upset" caused but also insisting that Tierney, who was employed on a three-year full-time contract, had only ever been a shared coach with the 7s side.

The IRFU has this evening adopted a more conciliatory tone and moved to explain the role of IRFU committee member Quinn and former Irish Women's Rugby Football Union president Carty.

IRFU statement

Irish Rugby Football Union CEO Philip Browne wishes to acknowledge the Union's role in causing unintentional concern and confusion around the future of the women's game in Ireland. 

The IRFU is fully committed to developing and growing the women's game in Ireland and has already commenced a strategic review process involving volunteers and senior IRFU staff from both the high performance and grassroots participation areas of the game.

As part of that process it is intended to create a focused steering group co-chaired by Mary Quinn (IRFU Committee) and Su Carty to review the current strategy for the women's game and to make recommendations about the direction of future strategies for the development and growth of the game in Ireland from the ground up.

Su Carty has agreed to co-chair this group which will engage all key stakeholders about the future direction to be taken in the women's game. 

Working in partnership with Rugby Players Ireland, players within the women's rugby programme will be among the key groups consulted and they will help shape the future direction of the game in Ireland.

The work carried out by the steering group, allied with the review of the 2017 Rugby World Cup will contribute to building a framework for a long term strategic plan on the future of the women's game in Ireland delivering into the next Rugby World Cup cycle and beyond.