REPORT: Here’s When Irish Rugby Plans On Returning To Training & Playing Some Inter-Pros

Inter-pros.

The IRFU are targeting June 1 as a possible return date for collective training according to a report by Donal Lenihan in the Irish Examiner with the union hoping to play some inter-provincial fixtures in August.

Former Ireland international Lenihan said that planning for such a return is at an advanced stage but that several issues “have yet to be ironed out” before rugby can resume.

Lenihan said that the IRFU are hoping for a  “or a series of interprovincial double-headers to take place at the Aviva Stadium on successive Saturdays in August to be broadcast live on radio and television” with the games, of course, to be behind closed doors.

“The plan now is for the provincial squads to commence a phased program of collective training from June 1 but a lot of issues have yet to be ironed out,” Lenihan wrote.

“The players’ representative body, Rugby Players Ireland, has been briefing its members of the risks and issues involved.”

Lenihan added that Munster Rugby already have plans in place for a return with the province set to become “self-sufficient” and carry out all their training in isolation in Thomond Park.

“With their high-performance unit at the University of Limerick currently being used by the health authorities, Munster plan to become self-sufficient and carry out all their training and preparation in isolation at Thomond Park,” Lenihan added.

“Starting in mini-groups of four, with no players in the same position placed in the same pod, the provinces will start with weights and fitness work before building up to controlled contact through pad work. After that, they will work towards training as two separate teams doing unopposed work before progressing to full contact situations three weeks prior to any live games. 

“The hope is for a series of interprovincial double-headers to take place at the Aviva Stadium on successive Saturdays in August to be broadcast live on radio and television.”

You can Donal Lenihan’s full column in Wednesday’s Irish Examiner Sport.