The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) will commence a programme of PCR testing of its senior professional players and high performance staff from Munster and Leinster this week ahead of their planned return to their respective High Performance Centres next week.
Connacht and Ulster will commence PCR testing next week ahead of their scheduled return on June 29. The PCR Testing is part of the return to train protocols put in place by the IRFU.
The IRFU’s ‘Return to Train and Play’ proposals were submitted to Government last month and, based on this phased roadmap, August 22/23 has been set for the targeted resumption of Guinness PRO14 derby fixtures involving the four provinces.
The nationally coordinated PCR testing programme is being carried out by Cork based company Advanced Medical Services. Players, coaches and support staff will undergo a swab test which indicates the presence of the COVID19 virus.
IRFU Medical Director Dr Rod McLoughlin, commented,
“The PCR testing ahead of the return to the High Performance Centres is an important element of our Return to Training Protocols. All players, coaches and support staff will be tested before being permitted to enter their respective HPCs.
“They will also receive COVID19 education from our medical staff as well as education on the new protocols that have been put in place at each HPC to create a controlled working environment that greatly limits the risk of infection.
“The IRFU is coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the COVID19 protocols across our five designated High Performance Centres. We will be working closely with the HPC COVID Managers to support them in the roll-out of the protocols.”