The All-Ireland League (AIL) will begin on January 9th this year, and will consist of only nine league games along with the usual semi-finals and final.
No team will be promoted or relegated this year given the condensed season.
The AIL will be replaced for the first half of the year by the newly established Energia Community Series, starting on September 26th and finishing on December 12th.
Games in the series will be played within “newly formed localised conferences”.
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) announced the restructuring yesterday, citing the need “to focus on player welfare and Covid-19 risk mitigation”.
Silverware will be awarded for success in the community series and will determine what teams compete in the All-Ireland cup competitions later in the season.
In a press statement, IRFU Rugby Committee Chair Greg Barrett, said: “Our Return To Rugby Guidelines For Clubs mapped out a ‘safety first’ approach for clubs and we continue to be guided by this and the work of IRFU Medical Director Rod McLoughlin as we build towards a resumption of competitive rugby in 2020.”
“While there are many factors which helped shape this season outline, you will see that player welfare and COVID-19 risk mitigation are by far the biggest consideration.”
“We are also hopeful that a focus on keeping rugby at a localised level in the first stage of the season brings with it an opportunity for clubs to re-energise their membership”, Barrett added.
The IRFU cancelled the 2019/2020 AIL season on March 20th because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dublin University Football Club’s (DUFC) last game was a 27-0 defeat against Cork Constitution – the league leaders at the time. DUFC were in danger of relegation before the season was halted, finishing second to last in the league table with four wins and 10 losses.