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IRFU to begin Covid-19 testing with Leinster and Munster setups set to return next week

Connacht and Ulster are scheduled to return on 29 June.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE IRFU IS set to commence testing for Covid-19 amongst players and staff with Leinster and Munster setups the first to engage with the programme.

In a statement issued this evening, the Union explained that they will commence testing as a return to high performance centres beckons for the provinces.

The senior players and high performance staff from Leinster and Munster are planning to return next week while their Connacht and Ulster counterparts are back on 29 June, with testing taking place before the squads return.

The nationally coordinated PCR testing programme is being carried out by Cork based company Advanced Medical Sciences. Players, coaches and support staff will undergo a swab test which indicates the presence of the Covid-19 virus.

The PCR Testing is part of the return to train protocols put in place by the IRFU. It is the same testing that is currently being used in the Premier League in England and for Super Rugby teams in New Zealand.

The turnaround time for test results is two to four days and the five designated high performance centres are the Sportsground (Connacht), UL (Munster), UCD (Leinster), Kingspan Stadium (Ulster) and the Sport Ireland Campus (IRFU HPC).

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“The PCR testing ahead of the return to the High Performance Centres is an important element of our Return to Training Protocols,” said IRFU Medical Director Dr Rod McLoughlin.

“All players, coaches and support staff will be tested before being permitted to enter their respective HPCs.

“They will also receive Covid-19 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 Covid-19 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.”

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