The IRFU will distribute rugby equipment worth almost €400,000 to the domestic game through the Sport Ireland Target Equipment (SITE) grant.
The funding will help over 170 clubs to increase sports participation and physical activity in local communities.
A number of girls’ secondary schools will receive equipment starter packs to encourage new rugby programmes.
Clubs and schools will receive a set amount of equipment with rugby balls, cones, bibs and a medical bag with supplies.
The level of equipment allocated to clubs is weighted against their level of participation offerings, with a particular emphasis on rugby for girls and women. Other criteria include activity at underage level and inclusive rugby programmes for people with diverse needs.
Additional equipment for selected clubs includes hit shields and pitch kits with post pads and padded corner flags.
The news is another significant boost to community rugby after the announcement of COVID-19 Emergency funding for the sport in December.
IRFU Rugby Development Director Colin McEntee said:
“We want players to play the game and enjoy the game. We hope our clubs will be massively energised by getting new playing and safety equipment for their underage and adult squads.”
“Club gates were forced shut and equipment placed in storage, which at least gave clubs the chance to take stock. It identified a need to replace some of the basic things required for a positive rugby experience.
“That positive rugby experience is at the centre of everything we do and we’re particularly excited to bring it to new schools and new communities.
“This initiative would not be possible with the ongoing support of Sport Ireland, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them sincerely.”
New equipment will be distributed through the provinces over the coming months and it is anticipated that clubs will receive their full allocation in time for the new season.