Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:51 25 Nov 2020

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The IRFU says it is currently reviewing the domestic rugby season in line with government guidelines for COVID-19.

A document issued to clubs in July of this year outlined the various steps in place to ensure the safest environment for players around the country for the 2020/21 season.

It maps out two stages for the season with Stage 1 planned until the end of December and it limits clubs to playing games against teams from within their province.

For the IRFU to push ahead with Stage 2, where games can be held between teams from different, a number of criteria must be in place.

The government will have to give the all-clear for field sports to be allowed, COVID-19 cases will have to be low in the community with a lack of clusters or any other resurgence of the virus, and the players will have to willing to participate in an expanded competition.

Should government restrictions be lifted to the point where rugby matches are permitted, the IRFU is advising a 14-day period where clubs ensure contact readiness before any games are played.

An update to the status of Stage 2 is expected in the coming days but the resumption of any competitive games will not take place until January 9th at the earliest.

Chair of the IRFU Rugby Committee, Greg Barrett said: "It’s clear that COVID-19 is still in our communities and we’re not as far down the road of the season as we would have liked to be.

"Training is a valuable outlet for skill development and health, including mental health, but games are what field sports are all about.

"If there is a chance for games to be played, we will want to play them in line with government guidelines.

"This season was always going to be different. We will continue to be flexible with our season plan and we are asking clubs to stay the course.

"There are more important things than sport, but sport has never been more important."

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