The IRFU have confirmed that there have been ‘zero positive results’ for COVID-19 following testing of 140 Leinster and Munster players and staff this week. It’s good news for Irish rugby and a significant positive step towards a return to professional rugby in Ireland.

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A statement from the union reads: “The IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) can confirm that the first phase of PCR testing produced zero positive results. 140 players and staff were tested on Wednesday 18th June in Leinster and Munster.

“The PCR testing was carried out by Cork based company Advanced Medical Services on behalf of the IRFU.

“The staff and players have been cleared to access their respective High Performance Centres from Monday 22nd June.

“The second phase of PCR testing will commence with players and staff from Connacht and Ulster this coming week.”

During PCR Testing, a swab test removes a sample from a person’s nose or throat. This sample is examined at a molecular level using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to identify the presence of COVID19. The turnaround time is two to four days and the same process is being used by the League of Ireland, Premier League, English Football League, Bundesliga, La Liga, NZ Rugby and the NRL.

IRFU Medical Director Dr Rod McLoughlin, commented last week: “The PCR testing ahead of the return to the High Performance Centres is an important element of our Return to Training Protocols. All players, coaches and support staff will be tested before being permitted to enter their respective HPCs.

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“They will also receive COVID19 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 COVID19 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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