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Rugby Development Director Asks Clubs To ‘Hold Firm.’

Rugby Development Director Asks Clubs To ‘Hold Firm.’

©INPHO/James Crombie

Irish Rugby Update – COVID-19

By Colin McEntee, IRFU Director of Rugby Development

As we enter another week in one of the most challenging times for our game, I want to assure everyone who loves our game that we continue to develop a roadmap to take us to a time where we can all enjoy club rugby again.

You may have seen a new campaign from the HSE this week. The message, or ask, is that we all continue to ‘hold firm.’

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It’s a rallying cry that the IRFU fully support as we continue to take the steps that will protect our communities and save lives.

Both the Government of Ireland’s Roadmap To Reopen Society and Business and the Northern Ireland Executive’s Coronavirus Executive Approach To Decision-Making have shown us there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Under the roadmap, rugby can work to resume in Phase 5 on a preliminary date of August 10th.

Many of you want to know exactly what that means and want to know if rugby clubs can open as amenities or for non-contact activities under earlier phases of the roadmap.

We are working hard to provide answers to these questions.

We are in ongoing talks with government about where contact sport, non-contact sport, social distancing and our rugby clubs sit within government efforts to reopen society.

This will define what happens next for Irish Rugby.

When we have that clarity, we will issue guidance to clubs with details on what activity can take place in rugby clubs and how we can operate safely within government measures.

Until then, we’re asking clubs to ‘hold firm.’

Rugby clubs are a vital amenity for fitness and wellbeing for everyone in their local communities. It remains a priority for Irish Rugby that these clubs play their part in the reopening of society.

We have a responsibility to go about this in the right way. COVID-19 has changed the way we live. It will change what rugby looks like in our communities and it will be with us for some time to come.

In other matters, the application process for the IRFU’s Club Continuity Fund is now complete and we are dealing directly with the clubs who made submissions. We are also planning a number of new initiatives and providing guidance to clubs who are looking at ways to diversify their revenue streams and adapt to new models of fundraising.

I want to thank and congratulate clubs who have engaged directly in helping local communities. Many clubs have offered vital services to those most at risk from COVID-19. Many more have supported charity drives that support our heroes on the frontline.

I look forward to updating you soon, but in the meantime, ‘hold firm,’ and stay safe.


The above was issued to the Club Honorary Secretaries on May 12th, 2020.