The Irish Rugby Football Union has said it will fully publish two ongoing reviews when completed, in a change to previous stated intentions.

The union had originally said it would publish the "findings" only, in line with other historical reviews but in a statement released this morning confirmed the change.

The independent reviews are examining the failure to qualify for next year's World Cup and issues related to the structure of the women's game in the country.

The fact that part of the reviews were going to remain out of the public eye was one of the catalysts for over 60 current and former players to write a letter to the Irish Government last week saying they had lost trust in the union to oversee meaningful change in relation to the women's game.

"Despite there being well-qualified independent leads running these, we have no faith that in the end that these will do anything significantly different to all those which have gone before," they said in the letter.

"And therefore the overarching objective of this letter is to ask for your help to intervene in these processes to make them genuinely transparent and meaningful"

The IRFU's reply to the situation was widely criticised for its tone but the latest statement paves the way to close the gap between the parties.

The union says it hopes to meet the sports minister of state Jack Chambers next week and that it will seek to meet a players’ delegation early in the New Year to hear their views.

The statement read: "The IRFU confirms that it intends to fully publish the two independent reviews currently being undertaken into women's rugby.

"The review of the Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification campaign and the wider review of the Women in Rugby Action Plan are both being undertaken by Amanda Bennett and her colleagues at FairPlay (Ltd).

"The decision was made at the December meeting of the Union Committee where the IRFU committed to transparency in this review process.

"The IRFU expects that the initial review, into the RWC21 qualification campaign, will be completed by Amanda Bennett, and her colleagues, in January, while the wider review is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2022 (subject to completion).

"The IRFU wishes to assure all those devoted to rugby, including the players who issued the recent letter to Government Ministers, that the situation that developed, particularly in the last week, is regrettable and we will work tirelessly to mend and build the relationship between the Union and our players.

"We are committed to the development of the women’s game, from grassroots to elite level, to provide the opportunity for girls and women to enjoy lifelong participation in rugby.

"The IRFU will seek to meet a delegation from the women's group early in the New Year and assures them that their views will be listened to and fed into future planning.

"The IRFU hope to meet with Minister Chambers next week."

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