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  • Rugby

IRFU Update Return to Rugby Guidelines with September Return to Competition for Clubs

Thursday, 11th June, 2020 1:55pm
IRFU Update Return to Rugby Guidelines with September Return to Competition for Clubs


IRFU Update Return to Rugby Guidelines with September Return to Competition for Clubs


The IRFU are now in a position to add a ‘Competition Stage’ to their Return To Rugby Guidelines For Clubs.

This is to allow clubs to plan and work towards the start of the 2020/21 season and the playing of rugby matches.

September has been given as the month in which rugby matches will be permitted to return for clubs.

Given the changing nature of the reopening of society and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a specific date will not be issued until further clarity is available and will remain subject to change.

The given date will also factor in a minimum window of five weeks permitted for contact training ahead of a return to rugby matches.

The Competition Stage is the final stage in the summary roadmap of the IRFU Return To Rugby Guidelines. All clubs are currently in the COVID-19 Safety Planning Stage, which they must complete before moving to the resumption of training at any level.

The IRFU are working toward a modified season for 2020/21. The governing body recognises concerns over travel, safety and expense and this will be reflected in the season’s structure. Clubs should expect that games at the start of the season will be kept local where practicable.

Further detail on the structure of the season will also be issued in due course.

The IRFU Return To Rugby Guidelines For Clubs are available at

Incoming president of Nenagh Ormond RFC Paul Spain, has welcomed the road-map as the club begins to put plans together to get back on the field again.

“We had the club locked up until a couple of weeks ago,” he said.
“We have opened it up to allow lads to run around and that. The gym is still closed.
“As with all sports, we really don’t know what is happening yet. Time will tell.”

Paul’s term as president should have begun by now but the club annual general meeting was one of many events that had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“Our AGM is usually held in May and that had to be postponed,” he added.
“We will host an online AGM via zoom later in the summer to confirm incoming officers and committee. We will have an EGM later in the year where all members can gather together.”

However, despite the rugby season having been curtailed since late March, it hasn’t meant a reduction in outgoings to ensure the grounds are maintained so in recent weeks they launched a fundraising campaign on the gofundme website to raise much needed funds. 

“We lost out on a lot,” Spain revealed.
“The club draw had to be postponed, as well as our annual table quiz. We also lost out on three home games in the AIL and the gate money from those as well as the match sponsors. It’s still an expensive time.
“So we organised a fundraiser on gofundme and it’s gone brilliantly well and is up over €12,000 so far. It goes to show you the goodwill there is out there towards the club.”

They are aiming to get to €20,000 so are sixty per cent of the way there with former high profile players Donnacha Ryan and John Muldoon lending a helping hand in their efforts via social media.
Despite it being the off-season in rugby, there is still plenty of deliberations ongoing regarding the format of next seasons All Ireland League with some suggestions that Divisions 2A, B & C could be merged into new regional leagues which would reduce the distances club would have to travel on games, therefore cutting costs while also generating more local derbies.
“They haven’t come out with any concrete proposals yet, there’s talk of a regional league for clubs below division 1 but nothing has been copper-fastened yet,” Spain added.


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