Irish rugby chief Philip Browne: “These matches are not just rugby fixtures, they are a beacon of hope for the entire country.”
By Brian Barry
Last Updated: 22/05/20 2:47pm
The IRFU has unveiled plans for rugby’s return in Ireland, with the penultimate weekend in August seeing motion happen at the Aviva Stadium.
Under the plans, two video games will see the 4 provinces face off on August 22 and 23. The clashes can be a part of the PRO14 2019/20 season.
Currently in Ireland, rugby’s return is sanctioned below the fifth part of lifted restrictions to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. That stage begins on August 10.
IRFU chief govt Philip Browne stated that the union is working with the authorities to ensure that the video games to happen behind closed doorways.
“Our documents are now with the Government and I would like to acknowledge the cooperation and support we have received from the Government and its agencies, in particular Sport Ireland and The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport,” Browne stated.
These matches aren’t simply rugby fixtures, they’re a beacon of hope for the complete nation.
Browne feels sport can increase the nationwide morale
“Based on these protocols, we have now set goal dates of 22nd and 23rd August for a return to play with the staging of Guinness PRO14 derby fixtures between the provinces at the Aviva Stadium behind closed doorways, as a part of the completion of the PRO14 2019/20 season.
“In these times, these matches are not just rugby fixtures, they are a beacon of hope for the entire country. A step, albeit a small one, in Ireland’s opening up to an environment for which the entire country yearns, deserves and has sacrificed so much to win back. We very much look forward to being able to play our part in delivering this much-needed tonic for the country.”
Meanwhile, a return of worldwide Tests is mooted for later in the 12 months, with the the rest of the Six Nations and the November internationals amongst the video games to be held.
“What I can say is that we are proactively engaging with World Rugby and our fellow Unions to work on a programme which will deliver international matches here sometime in October or November,” continued Browne.
“Obviously as a part of this strategy we’re maintaining an in depth eye on the numerous top-level sports activities round the world which at the moment are coming again to play.
“We will take whatever learnings we can from their experiences in order to ensure we meet with the most stringent health directives and guidance around the safety of players, management, all of the support crew and supporters, if involved.”