The Irish Rugby Football Union has cancelled this season’s Energia All-Ireland League due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.
Domestic rugby has been hard hit by the nationwide government lockdowns enforced to slow the spread of the virus.
Last season’s AIL ground to a halt in March with a blanket suspension of matches.
“It’s very disappointing for Buccaneers as we had no promotion or relegation this season, we’ve a new coaching and we thought it was the perfect opportunity for them to build a new squad” says Buccaneers Mike Silke.
“it would have been an ideal season for Buccaneers new coaching triumvirate of Kolo Kiripati, Henry Bryce and Adrian Hanley to give a lot of game time to the many young promising players at the Athlone club, captained by Evan Galvin” added Silke.
Club games resumed during the autumn with the Energia Community Series, which was basically provincial leagues, but that proved a short-lived exercise as new restrictions were introduced again by the government last November.
IRFU officials are hopeful of resuming some form of club rugby when cleared to do so by government guidelines and a huge amount of work is on-going. Commitment to players and the clubs remains clear.
It may be possible that the Community Series league can be completed but much will depend on government decisions re lockdown circa March fifth.
If restrictions are lifted, then this series could take place but time is limited as rugby traditionally finishes in May.
With time needed for training and preparation, the schedule would be very tight to get the remaining fixtures completed.