The IRFU has announced that Club rugby will return in September. The matches will be in line with the Return to Play protocol.
Moreover, the sports governing body said it has added a competition stage to the club guidelines. This will now allow the season to return in September. RTE Sport report that the five week contact training was also factored in to the plans. It was also revealed the IRFU will be modifying the 2020/2021 season. In a statement on Thursday the IRFU said, “The IRFU are now in a position to add a ‘Competition Stage’ to their Return To Rugby Guidelines For Clubs,”.
The statement continued, This is to allow clubs to plan and work towards the start of the 2020/21 season and the playing of rugby matches”. September has been given as the month in which rugby matches will be permitted to return for clubs. A specific date for the restart of games will not be announced until further clarity. It said also, “The given date will also factor in a minimum window of five weeks permitted for contact training ahead of a return to rugby matches”.
They said that all clubs are currently in the Covid 18 Safety Planning Stage. “All clubs are currently in the Covid-19 Safety Planning Stage, which they must complete before moving to the resumption of training at any level”. The IRFU said they also recognise travel, safety and expense and they therefore have tailored the season to suit this. “The governing body recognises concerns over travel, safety and expense and this will be reflected in the season’s structure. Clubs should expect that games at the start of the season will be kept local where practicable.”