Gerry Thornley: IRFU can’t forget about the clubs in these trying times
Fears that some clubs might never recover from lack of activity during coronavirus outbreak
A Covid-19 public information leaflet at Tullamore Rugby Club in Offaly. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
UCD’s Andy Marks is tackled by Seán Kearns of Clontarf during the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A game at Belfield on February 29th. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho
When the IRFU announced last Friday that the 2019-20 club/domestic game was being abandoned for the season this news was soon overtaken later in the day when the union unveiled its graded salary deferrals for all provincial players and staff.
The amateur game has long since been dwarfed by its professional cousins, but while the provinces will remain as professional entities after the coronavirus pandemic, these are altogether more ominous times for the clubs.