Rugby issues guidelines for return to play; border anomaly adds to confusion for golfers

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Rugby’s governing body has revealed a document entitled “Safe return to rugby in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Photograph: Inpho

Rugby’s governing body has revealed a document entitled “Safe return to rugby in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Photograph: Inpho

The IRFU could face a loss of revenue exceeding €10m if rugby fails to return before the end of the this year. The prospect of both Test rugby and professional competitions such as the Pro 14 (or a revived interprovincial championship) remaining behind closed doors until a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus is made widely available remains a possibility but is not cast in stone. Rugby’s return to stadiums without supporters can be achieved with 167 people, the sport’s governing body has revealed in a document entitled “Safe return to rugby in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Testing for temperatures and coronavirus symptoms, travelling to and from training individually, and without use of the showers or other facilities in groups initially of no more than four players, are all part of the graduated return to training and playing guidelines issued.

Europe captain Pádraig Harrington has named Luke Donald as one of his vice captains for the 2020 Ryder Cup, and while players such as Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are not in favour of the event being held behind closed doors, the Dublin native wants it to go ahead for the good of the game. Philip Reid writes this morning that the border anomaly only adds to the confusion for golf’s return: “when golf resumes on May 18th in the first phase of the relaxing of restrictions, those beyond-5km outliers deprived of the opportunity to golf will potentially have to watch in some bemused state as cross-Border visitors with yellow car registrations from further afield arrive to play in the Republic.”

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