Two rugby fans have begun legal proceedings against Irish rugby’s governing body and the operator of Dublin’s Aviva Stadium after being struck by a ball at high-profile games.

The female spectators are suing the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and New Stadium DAC, the company that operates the Aviva, over separate incidents, according to a report in The Irish Times newspaper.

One of the plaintiffs was hit in the head at an Ireland game against New Zealand in November 2018, with the other at a European Champions Cup match between Munster and Saracens in April 2017.

According to the Times, the IRFU said it would be “inappropriate to comment on any ongoing legal matter”.

The Times report that the cases are the first taken by fans over injuries inflicted by a rugby ball. It is not clear if an All Black was involved in the incident which occurred during Ireland’s first win over New Zealand on Irish soil.

Spectators being struck by wayward balls is fairly common in sport – from football supporters behind a goal being hit by a mishit shot to golf fans ducking for cover as a tee shot misses the fairway.

A number of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have recently announced plans to extend safety netting following a series of incidents in which spectators were hit.

Image: wynnert (Flickr)