IRFU allows Muslim woman to wear hijab in competitive rugby

Ruba Rosalina Bukhatwa, known to her teammates as Rose, may become the first Muslim women in Ireland to play competitive rugby in the hijab.

Tallaght Women’s RFC made a request to the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) after Bukhatwa had recently joined the club. Within four weeks, the IRFU confirmed that she could play in the hijab under certain conditions: she must ensure that the hijab is secure and tucked into her jersey and wear a scrum cap.

Martina Fitzpatrick, Women’s Development Officer at Tallaght Women’s RFC praised the IRFU’s speedy resolution. She hopes the decision will encourage more women in Ireland to pursue rugby.

The 18-year-old law student at Griffith University was born in Dublin to Libyan parents.

The town of Tallaght, in south Dublin, made headlines in 2014 with the “Hijabs and Hat-tricks” project after FIFA dropped its ban on hijabs. And Diverse City FC was soon born. Alongisde Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI), the project helped Muslim women into football. The women’s team debuted at tournament that same year.