The IRFU has today published a 'summary roadmap' for a return to rugby in clubs. The objective of the roadmap is to provide high level clarity to clubs and ensure COVID-19 safety measures are taken before activities can resume.
The statement confirms that "Clubs may only resume training and rugby activities in accordance with government protocols"
Clubs are being asked to focus for now on COVID-19 safety planning. A range of training and education supports will be available to guide clubs through this stage.
IRFU Return To Rugby Guidelines will be issued to all clubs on Friday June 5 2020.
The summary roadmap and details of the COVID-19 Safety Planning Stage were issued to club Honorary Secretaries on Friday May 29.
Recommendations include the appointment of a COVID-19 Club Safety Officer to oversee public health measures in the club. Appointed COVID-19 Club Compliance Officers will be asked to monitor day-to-day compliance with protocols across all teams.
Clubs will be guided through the process of completing a COVID-19 Club Risk Assessment and a COVID-19 Club Safety Plan to outline safety measures and minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Templates for these documents will be issued to clubs as part of the IRFU Return To Rugby Guidelines
Speaking about the plan, IRFU Director of Rugby Development Colin McEntee said:
Like everyone else, our community has been following the updates to government roadmaps and recovery plans and asking when clubs can reopen. That’s from junior clubs right up to our men’s and women’s clubs in the Energia All-Ireland League.
The fact remains we can only resume activity in line with the easing of government restrictions, but there is also a lot we can do to ensure the right practices are in place.
Many clubs are already looking at revised operating procedures. This plan is about helping all clubs move forward as one in providing health and wellbeing opportunities for their community.
I’m hopeful our clubs can rise to the challenge. The support will be there for them at both national and provincial level.
From there, we can look at a graduated return to rugby with a focus on reduced activities and non-contact forms of the game along the way."
There were 217 clubs active in the 2019/20 season.
Guidelines for rugby in schools and third-level institutions will be issued in due course.