The IRFU has dashed hopes of an early resumption to the rugby season by telling players and provinces that there can be no return to training until June 8th at the earliest.
There had been some speculation that training might resume on May 18th, but the government roadmap for the lifting of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions states that non-contact small group team sports training cannot start before June 8th.
The IRFU has promised another update next month, with professional players continuing to train at home in the interim.
"The IRFU has confirmed to players that they will not be returning to training on May 18th and that we will contact them in June with further information, based on government guidelines," an IRFU statement said.
With rugby listed under phase five of the government roadmap, it had been hoped that competitive action could start again on August 10th, although that now appears unlikely.
The international team had been due to play a two-match test series in Australia and, although there has been no official announcement of a cancellation, all indicators suggest that the tour will not go ahead.