Rugby: Fan who attended All Blacks test takes legal action after being hit by ball

Both incidents happened at Ireland's Aviva Stadium.
Both incidents happened at Ireland's Aviva Stadium. Photo credit: Getty

Two women are taking action against the Ireland Rugby Football Union (IRFU) after they were hit by balls in separate incidents at the capital's Aviva Stadium last year.

UK news source The Sunday Times reports that one of the incidents occurred during the All Blacks' defeat to Ireland in Dublin in November, and the other in a European Champions Cup game between Munster and Saracens in 2017.

Both women report being hit in the head after balls were kicked into the stands by players.

The Times reports that the IRFU declined to comment on both cases.

These incidents follow an incident closer to home. A Big Bash cricket game in Australia in February saw a boy being hit in the head with the ball when George Bailey, of the Hobart Hurricanes, smashed a six into the stands.

Back in the UK in October, a spectator was injured after being hit by a wayward shot from defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, on day one of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

It does not appear legal action was taken in either of these cases. Bailey and Sydney Thunder all-rounder Daniel Sams went out of their way to make the young fan smile. Bailey went to meet the boy and gave him a pair of gloves, while Sams went over and gave him a signed cap.

At the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the woman was pictured smiling after the incident and was treated by paramedics.

Sports law barrister Tim O'Connor told The Times the cases come down to the risks associated with watching sport.

"Spectators at rallying events, for example, run an obvious risk, and injured spectators at these events have failed in some recent cases."

O'Connor said sporting organisations were generally kept safe by the law.

He told The Times that freak accidents happen.

"That does not mean that there will always be liability imposed or that high-costs demands such as netting will be made of a relatively low-risk sport like rugby."