The IRFU has unanimously approved a proposal to achieve 40% female representation on its committee by the end of the year.

The recommendation will be taken to the IRFU annual council meeting in July for consideration and the adoption of the necessary law changes to effect this decision.

In the meantime, the IRFU will engage with the four provinces and other stakeholders on the details of the proposal.

Only three of the current 23 committee members are female (13%), with a further member co-opted.

However, the IRFU was already on course to increase female representation to between 20% and 25% by July.

IRFU chief executive Kevin Potts said in a statement: "The IRFU has committed to achieving 40% gender representation on the Union committee by the end of this year.

"Today's announcement is further affirmation of our commitment to women in rugby in Ireland. We will continue to work with our four provinces and all of the stakeholders across Irish rugby to this end."