Cork Hellhounds compete in LGBTQ+ rugby world championships for first time ever

The Bingham Cup runs in Rome from May 22 to May 26, with two Irish clubs taking part.

Cork Hellhounds unveiling their new rugby kit. A group of people pose outdoors for a photo, holding a red and black jersey. Some people are dressed in rugby kit, while others are dressed in regular clothes.
Image: Karl Knapman

LGBTQ+-inclusive rugby club Cork Hellhounds are competing in the Bingham Cup for the first time ever. The 11th edition of the biennial world championships opened in Rome on Wednesday, May 22, with the event running until Sunday, May 26.

The Cork Hellhounds were formed in 2020 and were quickly ratified by Munster Rugby and the IRFU. For the first time last year, they took part in International Gay Rugby (IGR)’s European championships, named the Union Cup, reaching the finals of their tier.

Ahead of the Bingham Cup, the club’s Communications Officer Scott De Buitléir said: “We are proud to be representing Cork and Munster at the IGR (International Gay Rugby) Bingham Cup for the first time, and we can’t wait to play against the other IGR clubs and celebrate rugby as an inclusive sport in a fantastic setting like Rome. It’s going to be exciting for us all.”



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The Munster side plays their opening two matches on Thursday, May 23. The first fixture kicked off at 9:40am local time, with the Hellhounds getting off to a smashing start, recording a 17-5 win over the Ottawa Wolves. Their next game starts at 4:30pm, when they will face Glasgow Raptors.

The Bingham Cup runs until May 26, featuring almost 100 teams and over 3,000 athletes, making it its biggest edition yet. Alongside the Cork Hellhounds, the Emerald Warriors are also flying the Irish flag loud and proud, with the Dublin club entering four teams into the competition, including a women’s+ team for the first time.



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Founded in 2002 as the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, the event is one of the largest amateur rugby union tournaments in the world. It is named after Mark Bingham, who died during the events of 9/11. The out gay rugby player had been onboard United Airlines Flight 93 and worked with others to thwart the hijackers’ plans to crash the plane in Washington DC. Thanks to the heroic efforts, the aircraft eventually crashed into an open field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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