The IRFU and Ulster Rugby can confirm that all rugby activity below elite level in Northern Ireland should be suspended for a 4-week period as of 6pm today (Friday 16 October).
The suspension of all domestic rugby activity in NI, which includes training and matches, is in-line with the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Northern Ireland Executive earlier this week.
All club and school rugby, which is not classified as an elite sport and therefore not exempt from the new regulations, should cease in Northern Ireland from 6pm today (Friday 16 October).
Clubs and schools in the Republic of Ireland can continue to operate within the Level 4 restrictions set out by the Government of Ireland should they choose to do so.
Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie, said:
“A number of weeks have now passed since I last spoke to you about how domestic rugby in the province was set to be affected by the latest government regulations and guidance aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“Unfortunately, we are now in a position where it is necessary for all club and school rugby activity in Northern Ireland to stop for the next four weeks, as we look to support the public health measures put in place by the NI Executive.
“With our ROI clubs operating under Level 4 restrictions, as guided by the Government of Ireland, I am acutely aware that this is an extremely challenging time for our sport across the province, especially after the considerable amount of work which went into facilitating a limited return of action in recent weeks.
“However, it is critical, both for the good of our sport and the wider community, that we continue to play our part, so I once again thank-you for your co-operation as we face up to these difficult and unprecedented times together.”