Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has confirmed that both Connacht and Ulster can resume full contact training next Monday after there were zero positive results in their Covid-19 screening tests, which took place earlier this week.

Jack Carty walking off the Connacht bus in advance of their last competitive fixture, against the Southern Kings on Sunday March 1st. Picture: INPHO/Richard Huggard

Leinster and Munster were both cleared to proceed last week, and on Wednesday it was the turn of 118 players and staff based in Galway and Belfast to ensure that they were free of coronavirus and fit to resume full activity.

“The staff and players have been cleared to access their respective High Performance Centres from Monday, June 29th,” read a statement from the IRFU.

“From June 29th all four provincial senior squads will be back training in modified groups.

“To date there have been 258 tests conducted across the professional player and staff group and zero positive tests reported.”

IRFU Medical Director Rod McLoughlin commented: “The first phase of PCR testing has been successfully completed. The players and staff now enter a period of daily medical screening and assessment. The second phase of testing will take place as players return to contact.”

The PRO14 recently announced their plans to restart their modified league campaign on Saturday, August 22nd, with just 15 rounds of games taking place instead of 21. The final two rounds of regular competition will feature local derbies across all the nations, in order to reduce travelling times and distances. Having already played Leinster twice this season, their remaining games will be a trip south to play Munster, and a visit of Ulster to the Sportsground.

This year’s PRO14 final has been set for Saturday September 12th, while the start of the 2020/21 season has been provisionally agreed for October 3rd.

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