Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster says he is open to the idea of playing games behind closed doors as the Irish province aim to get their impressive season back underway in the near future.
There is still massive uncertainty surrounding the resumption of the rugby season after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the sporting world to a halt.
Leinster boasted an unbeaten campaign before sport was suspended across the globe, and governing bodies face a difficult task in finding ways to complete their seasons without congesting the fixture calendar .
Lancaster is hoping to see Leinster back out on the pitch sooner rather than later, but is wary of the need to use “common sense” in managing any potential return to action.
Even if that means playing games behind closed doors.
“There will have to be baby steps to start with,” Lancaster told RTÉ.
“Can we train safely? Can we train in small groups safely? Can we train in larger groups safely? Collectively? Training games? Competitive games?
“My understanding in Ireland is that there are restrictions on large gatherings until September anyway. So from our point of view something is better than nothing.
“But, equally, nobody wants to rush that process. We’re all aware of the seriousness of the situation in society. We will do what is right for society, not for sport.”
The former England head coach added that there will need to be “compromise” across the board in order to work out a fixture calendar that suits teams at both international and domestic level.
“With international rugby alongside domestic rugby and every stakeholder within that – French league, English league, Pro14, Europe. There’s no doubt it is going to be very tricky to navigate a way through this and satisfy all stakeholders,” Lancaster said.
“There will have to be compromise from everyone.
“I understand the international and the club opinion. Whatever pathway they take the players have to be at the centre of any decisions they make.
“The danger is that everyone tries to put everything into a very small window or into a window that extends for a whole 12-month period.
“There has to be common sense applied as well. The only way we will solve everything is by everyone giving a bit of ground in order to move the game forward.
“It is also a personal chance to recalibrate what the global game looks like and this is probably the best chance to do it”.
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