The uncertainty surrounding rugby's return will continue into June after the IRFU informed players that they will not be returning to training next Monday as previously planned.
The move will come as no surprise after rugby was listed as part of stage five of the Irish government's road map for easing restrictions on public gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the sport will only be allowed with social distancing after August 10.
The union have been working with the Irish government to understand the implications of that ruling, while they have also received World Rugby's guidelines for returning to play after Covid-19.
"The IRFU have confirmed to players that they will not be returning to training on May 18 and that we will contact them in June with further information, based on government guidelines," a spokesman said.
By putting the players on standby for a further period, they have bought themselves some more time in planning their next steps.