The IRFU's chief executive Philip Browne believes the return of rugby matches can prove to be "a beacon of hope for the entire country".
Irish Rugby's governing body have presented their "Return To Train And Play Protocols" to the government for approval ahead of proposed inter-provincial derbies behind closed doors at the Aviva Stadium on August 22nd and 23rd.
Those inter-pro games would mark a return for for professional rugby in Ireland, with the fixtures part of the Guinness PRO14 campaign on a weekend where the league hopes for local clashes to be played across the competition.
PRO14 organisers remain hopeful that their playoffs can still be played in September ahead of the 2021 campaign getting underway in late October while there's also plans for the Heineken Champions Cup final to be played in October.
"In these times, these matches are not just rugby fixtures, they are a beacon of hope for the entire country," Browne told Off The Ball at Friday afternoon's press conference. "A step, albeit a small one, in Ireland's opening up to an environment for which the entire country yearns, deserves and has sacrificed so much to win back.
"We very much look forward to being able to play our part in delivering this much needed tonic for the country."
He also revealed a stark financial picture for the IRFU, who face loses of up to 20 million Euro should their final two Six Nations games for this season be cancelled and scheduled autumn games with South Africa, Japan and Australia not take place later this year.
"In looking slightly further ahead towards a resumption of international matches, it is our ambition to see a resumption of international fixtures in the autumn.
"Specifically, what this will look like, it is too early to say. What I can say is that we are proactively engaging with World Rugby and our fellow unions to work on a programme which will deliver international matches here sometime in October or November.
"Obviously, as part of this approach, we are keeping a close eye on the various top-level sports around the world which are now coming back to play."
The IRFU chief added that the pandemic has had a "catastrophic" impact on sporting bodies in Ireland and he's called for supports from the government in the coming months:
"I would call on Government, who have done such a magnificent job in shepherding the country from the worst excesses of this pandemic over the past months, to fully recognise sport's contribution and role as a core strand in the fabric of our society, and in turn provide the significant financial support all sports will need in the difficult transition from dormant isolation, to vibrancy, across their communities."
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