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Coronavirus latest: IRFU agree payment deferral model with provinces

Domestic rugby in Ireland was suspended on March 12.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Ireland's four provinces have agreed a payment deferral model for all employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Domestic rugby in Ireland was suspended on March 12 in response to government advice on the spread of Covid-19, while the national team were unable to complete their Guinness Six Nations campaign.

Pay deferrals, which range from 10 to 50 per cent, will be effective from April and remain subject to constant review of the financial circumstances of the IRFU and the provinces, Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster.

The IRFU hopes to return to full pay, and repay any deferrals, as soon as possible.

IRFU CEO Philip Browne said in a statement: "We are entering uncharted waters as the Covid-19 crisis continues to unfold but we remain hopeful that something of this season can be retrieved later in summer.

"This is important as the whole game, amateur and professional, is financially dependent on the resumption of the professional tournaments and the revenues that they generate.

"With postponement of these tournaments the IRFU and the provinces are facing some daunting financial challenges around loss of revenue and cash flow and we must cut our costs."

Ireland, coached by Andy Farrell, had their Six Nations games against Italy and France postponed
Ireland, coached by Andy Farrell, had their Six Nations games against Italy and France postponed (Adam Davy/PA)

The payment deferral model was agreed in partnership with Rugby Players Ireland (RPI), the country's representative body for professional rugby players.

RPI CEO Simon Keogh said: "We recognise the need to work with the IRFU with respect to these payment deferrals in light of the current circumstances.

"All endeavours have been made to contact those affected on an individual basis. Our members appreciate that such moves are necessary in order to protect the future of the game in this country.

"The health and safety of the public is the priority at this time. We will continue to work with the IRFU as this situation develops."

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JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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