The male and female senior international basketball sides have been granted permission to train at the National Basketball Arena from this Friday.

Basketball Ireland say they have put together stringent Covid-19 protocols to ensure that our players can train in safe manner.

It reflects updates to the current health regulations which permit the return of a broader range of high-performance sport.

Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O’Byrne said it is the culmination of a lot of work: "This is a welcome first step for basketball’s return. We’d like to thank Sport Ireland, particularly Paul McDermott and Shane Califf, for their continued support and allowing our senior international sides the opportunity to train once again.

"A lot of preparation has been put in to make sure that it is a safe environment for our players and coaching staff. I would like to thank Charles Higgins, the Chair of Basketball Ireland’s Return to Play committee, for all his hard graft in getting us to this point.

"Naturally we hope in the coming weeks that our underage international sides will also be able to return to collective training ahead of this summer’s European Championships and we are in constant dialogue with Sport Ireland on the pathway for our sport at all levels to return."

Irish men’s head coach Mark Keenan added: "We are obviously pleased to be able to gather our squad together, after a long period without competitive action.

"The players themselves have been keeping themselves in great shape during the various lockdowns, but nothing can replicate being on a court.

"I’d like to thank Sport Ireland for giving us the green light to train once more, so we can put in some valuable groundwork ahead of the European Championship for Small Countries, which will hopefully take place in Limerick this summer."

A final decision on this summer’s men’s and women’s FIBA European Championship for small countries and youth competitions will be made at a FIBA Board meeting on 11 May.