Leinster rugby announce plan for fan return with social distancing in place

Leinster rugby announce plan for fan return with social distancing in place

LIVE RUGBY with fans could return to Dublin soon enough.

Leinster rugby has announced a plan for the return of fans next month, with social distancing in place.

The plan would see Leinster host home games at 11% capacity, with two metres of distance between fans.

It would also feature rapid antigen testing taking place beforehand, and it could come into play as early as next month, under their proposal submitted for approval.

The plan has already been approved by Irish Rugby, and has now been sent off to the Irish Government.

The pre-match antigen testing would take place by appointment and would be on site at the RDS, while existing Covid-19 guidelines already in place at the RDS Arena for staff and teams would remain in place.

The chosen rapid antigen testing system is EU approved and can successfully detect Covid-19 and all variants of concern, according to Leinster Rugby.

Addressing the plans Leinster Rugby CEO, Mick Dawson outlined the background to the submission.

He said: "This is an expertly researched project, which has been subject to robust scrutiny at every level, and we see it as a key contribution to the Government’s efforts to return our country to some form of normality.

"This initiative has the potential to be used as a blueprint by all sporting, cultural and community organisations for the safe return of limited crowds to their events.

"Similarly, a report was launched last week by the Government’s Rapid Testing Group, chaired by Professor Mark Ferguson, which also recommended the immediate use of antigen testing on a trial basis in schools, colleges, workplaces and sporting organisations as an additional tool to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

"Leinster Rugby has been working with key stakeholders for a number of months to finalise plans for a phased re-opening of the RDS Arena.

"We are confident that we have the infrastructure in place to ensure a safe and efficient trial and Martin Murphy, Chair of the combined working party, has written to the Department of Sport accordingly, outlining our readiness for such a trial and indeed, as I have stated earlier, our willingness that any data and lessons from such a trial be shared with relevant authorities and with other National Governing Bodies."