The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has finalised plans to facilitate the return of academy players following the return of senior squads in June.
All four provincial academy squads will return to their designated High Performance Centre on July 20th and follow the established COVID protocols to safeguard their return to rugby.
Academy players will complete an 8 week pre-season before joining senior squad members to compete in a series of A fixtures in late September and early October.
There will also be three inter-provincial 7s tournaments during this period which will see academy selections compete with the Ireland 7s squad.
Peter Smyth, IRFU Head of Elite Player Development, commented,
“As with our senior players it is important that we provide our contracted academy players with a safe and contained environment in which to re-condition after the shutdown and to prepare for a return to competitive rugby in September.
The Celtic Cup which has provided a valuable development platform for academy players in recent years has been put on hold for this year due to COVID19.
We have worked closely with Colin McEntee and his team to understand the opportunity for academy players in the Energia AIL this season and how that is facilitated for academy players in the provincial and national club competitions.”
Ireland U20 fixtures will be confirmed in due course.
Provincial Representative Season Outline
12th September 2020 (PRO14 2019/20 Final Weekend)
Provincial A Fixtures Rd 1
19th September 2020 (EPCR 2019/20 Quarter-Final Weekend)
Provincial 7s Tournament Rd 1
26th September 2020 (EPCR 2019/20 Semi-Final Weekend)
Provincial A Fixtures Rd 2
3rd October 2020 (PRO14 2020/21 Rd 1 Weekend)
Provincial 7s Tournament Rd 2
10th October 2020 (PRO14 2020/21 Rd 2 Weekend)
Provincial A Fixtures Rd 3
17th October 2020 (EPCR 2019/20 Final Weekend)
Provincial 7s Tournament Rd 3
12th December 2020 (EPCR 2020/21 Pool Weekend)
Provincial A Fixtures Rd 4
16th January 2021 (EPCR 2020/21 Pool Weekend)
Provincial A Fixtures Rd 5
3rd April 2021 (EPCR 2020/21 Quarter-final Weekend)
Provincial A Fixtures Rd 6