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Ulster's chief executive has backed the proposed inter-provincial series that will accompany rugby’s resumption.

However, Jonny Petrie admits that rugby matches will be played behind closed doors "for quite some period of time".

An inter-pro series has been pencilled in for the final two weeks in August to mark professional rugby's return in Ireland.

Petrie told BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsround Extra-time that he'd be in favour of such a competition.

"The Pro14 as a competition is a tricky one because of the cross border nature of it where each of the different nations is in a very different timeline in terms of any easing of restrictions," Petrie told the hosts.

"The interprovincial series to get ourselves going again is the path of least resistance.

"(But) If we are to play an interprovincial series, we need to be aligned with the rest of Ireland as well.

"That creates its own complications if they are on a slightly different timeline to Northern Ireland. We find ourselves in a unique situation like that."

Rugby is due to be among the final sports to be allowed resume in Ireland under phase 5 of the government's Roadmap For Reopening Society and Business.

Ulster, however, fall under the remit of the Northern Irish Executive's own plan. They too can resume in that phase 5 but no dates have been specified.

Petrie says - from a revenue standpoint - it's imperative that they're allowed to return to play quickly, while cognisant that public safety must come first.

"From a revenue point of view, a big chunk comes from tickets and season tickets but we also have a portion of our revenue that comes from sponsorships and partnerships and from broadcasts as well", Petrie added.

"We want to try and get back playing to bring some revenue in because ultimately it's the professional level of the game that allows us to pay for everything at grassroots level."

When rugby does resume on both sides of the border, it will almost certainly be behind closed doors.

Petrie told the BBC, "The reality is that it's going to be behind closed doors or certainly restricted crowds for quite some period of time.

"When I look back at the big nights at Kingspan Stadium, with 18,000 packed into the stands and the terraces, seeing that again feels like it's quite a long time away."

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