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That’s it folks! Irish rugby action over until season 20/21

(The coming months will give clubs a chance to upgrade their home venues)

IT was inevitable and the announcement that Irish Rugby’s 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude with immediate effect due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus did not come as a surprise.
It means that the 2019/2020 season is officially over at all levels of rugby on this island. From a local point of view the Munster Junior League race in division one is over with Kilfeacle and District leading the table followed by Thomond and Newcastle West in the runners-up positions. All other junior competitions, Webb Cup, McInerney Cup, Munster Junior Cup and all the leagues finish without conclusion.
The IRFU statement says that “the directive applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions. It was ratified by the IRFU Rugby Committee on Thursday, March 19th, 2020.
Government action in combatting the virus looks set to continue beyond March 29th. Irish Rugby wants to play its part while giving clubs the chance to put plans in place for the 2020/21 season.”
Cups will be shared by finalists, where cup competitions have reached the final fixture which will see CBC and St Munchin’s College come under that category in the Munster Schools Junior Cup.
“There will be no promotion or relegation in any of the five divisions of the Energia Men’s All-Ireland League. The planned expansion of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League for the 2020/21 season remains in place. There will be no league or cup winners in any competition organised at a national level including the Energia All-Ireland Leagues, Energia Women’s All-Ireland Cup and the Energia Bateman Cup.”
It is now almost certain that these restrictions will also apply to the Munster Junior competitions.
Speaking about the announcement, IRFU Director of Rugby Development Colin McEntee said:
“The decision to end the domestic rugby season for 2019/2020 season has not been made lightly. All options were discussed and the IRFU is satisfied it has arrived at the only equitable solution.
“These are challenging times for us all and we know clubs will be impacted by this directive, but we will look back at this season as one where we put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.
“Clubs are now in a position to make plans for the 2020/21 season. We look forward to marking the 30th anniversary of the All-Ireland League.”

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