Grace Moore on X: “Hello. I’m desperately looking for a boot sponsor for this season! Ideally up to £400 (to cover the cost of two pairs of boots for this season). Please get it touch if this is something you might be able to assist with (even if it’s one pair for this season)”
Last Updated: 17/11/23 6:37pm
Ireland and Saracens rugby player Grace Moore took to social media to request sponsorship for boots to play in for the forthcoming season.
The 27-year-old back-row played in all five Women’s Six Nations Tests earlier this year, in addition to starting all three of Ireland’s WXV3 fixtures in October.
At club level, Moore signed for Saracens in the Premier 15s – now named Premiership Women’s Rugby – ahead of the 2022/23 season. Yet, despite featuring in the top level of women’s rugby, Moore was forced to take to social media and ask for help regarding sponsorship for rugby boots.
“Hello. I’m desperately looking for a boot sponsor for this season! Ideally up to £400 (to cover the cost of two pairs of boots for this season),” Moore posted on X (formerly Twitter).
“Please get it touch if this is something you might be able to assist with (even if it’s one pair for this season). Thank you.”
Moore later posted: “Taken back by all of the support! Thank you all so much! I have found a sponsor.”
Sky Sports contacted the IRFU and Saracens for comment. The IRFU confirmed they do not have or provide any boot deals across their men’s or women’s teams, and say it is a personal preference as to whether players pursue them.
The incident comes after a year in which the IRFU have come under huge scrutiny for their running of the women’s game. The women’s side have struggled while the men’s side has thrived at the top of World Rugby’s rankings.
England, Wales and Scotland have all professionalised their women’s teams but the same cannot be said of Ireland.
In April, an unnamed player expressed concerns of sexism in a Telegraph report, with the IRFU likened to an “old boys club.”
Among the allegations made by the anonymous player were that players were denied protein supplements as they prepared for a summer tour to Japan and that the switch from white to blue shorts over period concerns was done without proper consultation with the squad.
The anonymous player also alleged squad members learnt they were dropped via email, with some omitted from mailing lists.
The IRFU disputed the claims made in a statement.
The IRFU are also said to have refused to explore the option of “hybrid contracts” – a specific request from players – with the union instead favouring a “full-time or nothing attitude”, with several players such as Katie O’Dwyer forced to walk away after receiving one-year contract offers of €15,000.
“I was offered €15,000 (£13,200) for a 12-month contract. I was earning about four times that in my day job, so it wasn’t an option at all,” O’Dwyer told The Telegraph, who works as a safety officer for national parks and wildlife.
“In Dublin, you’re talking probably €8,000 to €10,000 on rent alone. I’m lucky enough to have savings and I went through all these scenarios in my head to make it work. Do I use my savings to keep me basically alive? It just wasn’t doable.”