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The IRFU have welcomed the government's Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which was revealed on Friday. 

Under its guidelines, sport could resume behind closed doors next month.

However, rugby is covered under phase-5 of the roadmap, which means it may only resume no sooner than August 10.

The IRFU say they will be discussing the implications of the document with Sport Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

They say the roadmap is "a huge step towards the reopening of our clubs".

In March, the association were forced to implement pay deferrals of between 10 and 50 per cent with the sport on indefinite hold across the country.

The hope is that the government's roadmap can allow for some much-needed revenue generation by allowing the planned autumn internationals to go ahead.

In England, RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has warned of the potential "catastrophic" consequences of their November internationals being cancelled.

The IRFU statement reads:

The IRFU welcomes the release from the Government of Ireland of its Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business and the news that details of a similar roadmap will be issued by the UK Government on Sunday May 10th.

Rugby clubs are a vital amenity for fitness and wellbeing in local communities. It is a priority for Irish Rugby that these clubs play their part in the reopening of society.

The plan, published on Friday, is a huge step towards the reopening of our clubs and we will be working to fully understand the details of this plan with our friends and colleagues in Sport Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

We will bring these learnings to the plans we have been working on to reopen, on a phased basis in line with government frameworks.

Public safety and adherence to public health measures are at the heart of this plan.

The IRFU will reach out to clubs when this planning process is complete.

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