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The Wallabies, including Israel Folau, will be invited to celebrate after Sydney Convicts won gay rugby’s Bingham Cup in Amsterdam.
The Convicts A team clinched the title at the world’s largest rugby tournament by beating New York Gotham Knights in the grand final at the weekend, while Convicts B took out the second-tier Bingham Shield.
It’s the fifth time the Convicts have won the Bingham Cup and the sixth time it’s been won by an Australian team, with Melbourne Chargers prevailing last year in Nashville.
“This was the largest Bingham Cup yet, with 72 teams and 2500 players,” said Convicts founder Andrew Purchas, the chairman of International Gay Rugby.
“The number of gay and inclusive rugby teams around the world has grown dramatically in the past four years, since we hosted the Bingham Cup in Sydney in 2014.
There has been a 50 per cent increase in clubs, which means winning the cup and the shield was a particularly hard battle this time for both teams.”
The Bingham Cup will be handed over to Rugby Australia at a celebratory event and the Convicts hope Folau and Wallabies teammates will join them.
Superstar fullback has came under fire in recent times after responding to a question on twitter by saying God’s plan for gay people is hell unless they repent.
“We are celebrating our amazing victory in Amsterdam for now, but when we get home, our efforts will continue to make rugby union a more inclusive and welcoming community,” said Convicts president Don Rose.
“To that end, we’ll extend invitations to our longtime allies at Rugby Australia, the Wallabies and the Waratahs, to help us celebrate when we bring the cup back to Sydney.”
The Bingham Cup hand over to RA will also be used to announce the results of a Monash University study aimed at curbing homophobic language in the game.
Sydney Convicts raised $27,000 over the past month to fund the research, which will involve all under-18s and colts teams in Victoria.
Monash University research has previously found 73 per cent of teenage athletes heard their teammates use the words “fag” and “poof” in the last two weeks.
Purchas, said he was hopeful of a future where players felt comfortable to join any club.
“Ultimately the Convicts would like to put ourselves out of business, we’d like one day for there not to be a need for gay rugby teams,” Purchas said.
“Unfortunately, right now many people drop out of mainstream clubs because of homophobic language, which is often not intended to be harmful.”
The Ottawa Wolves and Argentina’s Huarpes RC are bidding to host the 2020 Bingham Cup tournament.