The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has finalised plans to facilitate the return of academy players following the return of senior squads in June.

All four provincial academy squads will return to their designated High Performance Centre on 20 July and follow the established COVID protocols to safeguard their return to rugby.

Academy players will complete an eight week pre-season before joining senior squad members to compete in a series of A fixtures in late September and early October.

There will also be three interprovincial 7s tournaments during this period which will see academy selections compete with the Ireland 7s squad.

Peter Smyth, IRFU Head of Elite Player Development, commented, “As with our senior players it is important that we provide our contracted academy players with a safe and contained environment in which to re-condition after the shutdown and to prepare for a return to competitive rugby in September.

“The Celtic Cup which has provided a valuable development platform for academy players in recent years has been put on hold for this year due to COVID-19.

“We have worked closely with Colin McEntee and his team to understand the opportunity for academy players in the Energia AIL this season and how that is facilitated for academy players in the provincial and national club competitions.”

 Ireland U20 fixtures will be confirmed in due course.

 Provincial Representative Season Outline

 12 September 2020

Provincial A Fixtures Round 1

19 September 2020

Provincial 7s Tournament Round 1

26 September 2020

Provincial A Fixtures Round 2

3 October 2020

Provincial 7s Tournament Round 2

10 October 2020

Provincial A Fixtures Round 3

17 October 2020

Provincial 7s Tournament Round 3

12 December 2020

Provincial A Fixtures Round 4

16 January 2021

Provincial A Fixtures Round 5

3 April 2021

Provincial A Fixtures Round 6