Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 11:59 UK

Dublin hosts gay rugby world cup

Rugby ball

The gay rugby world cup has begun in the Republic of Ireland.

The Bingham Cup is in its fourth year and is being hosted this time by Dublin-based rugby team, the Emerald Warriors.

Organisers hope the tournament will promote rugby as an all-inclusive sport which everyone can play, regardless of sexuality.

"People when the hear the word gay and rugby in a sentence they tend to react, there is an immediate 'those two things don't belong together'," said organiser Nick Costello.

"We've had a fairly broad range of reaction. From inside the gay community it's almost uniformly positive."

Thirty two teams will take to the rugby pitches at the tournament in north Dublin.

Sides have flown over from all over the world, including teams from Australia, France, the United States and Canada.

The Ulster Titans, a Belfast-based team, are also competing and their first game is a derby clash with the Emerald Warriors.

The cup is named in honour of Mark Bingham, a player for San Francisco Fog. He died on 11 September 2001 aboard flight 93.

The tournament has previously been held in San Francisco, London and New York and runs until 15 June.

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