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IRFU welcome plan to ease lockdown

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OUTLINE: Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin

OUTLINE: Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin

OUTLINE: Leo Varadkar. Photo: Tony Gavin

The IRFU have welcomed the Government's plans to ease lockdown restrictions and attempt to get sport in this country back up and running.

Four days after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar addressed the nation, the IRFU have responded with a statement, which also stated that it welcomed similar plans from the UK Government.

Rugby is listed under stage five of the Irish Government's roadmap out of the current lockdown, which as things stand, would permit the sport to recommence on August 10.

The provinces had hoped to return to some sort of training on May 18, but it remains to be seen if that will still be case.

Behind closed doors games look to be inevitable whenever rugby is given the green light, while an inter-provincial series appears to be on the cards given the complicated nature of resuming cross-border competitions such as the Champions Cup and the PRO14.

World Rugby have already suggested that large crowds will not be permitted at games until a vaccine to Covid-19 is discovered.

Nevertheless, the IRFU are happy with what they described a "huge step" forward in the hopes of rugby resuming over the coming months.

"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," a statement read.

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.

"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."