Leinster head coach Leo Cullen is prepared to play rugby behind closed doors and is open to the idea of an Irish provincial tournament as rugby seeks to cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

There is, as yet, no indication as to when competitive sport can return in Ireland given the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has warned that mass gathering of people may not be possible before the end of the year, but if that is the case, Cullen is ready to have his side play in empty stadiums.

"We will just get on with that if that is the arrangement," he said. "It will be a slightly different situation if that was to take place.

"We've all been involved in training games and pre-season games where there is not that same crowd atmosphere as at games.

"It takes away from what supporters bring and we have been incredibly lucky over the last number of years in terms of the involvement our supporters have had but it would be better than nothing and it would allow us to get the sport back up and running."

At the moment Cullen is working towards keeping his players fit and ticking over and ensuring that they are ready to return to action whenever that may be.

However given the international nature of the Pro14 tournament, the Leinster boss believes that his side could face a series of derby games before restrictions are lifted throughout Europe and South Africa. 

"For us we are trying to focus on making sure we have a good quality programme for the players to work on remotely," he said. "We are fortunate in that we have a relatively stable playing group and management staff as well.

"At some point you’re going to have to get back playing and whenever we do get back training whether that’s in smaller groups and how does that get extended out?

"It’s just a gradual build-up of whatever that load looks like. There may be complications being in cross-border competitions.

"We have inter-provincial teams on our doorstep and then our club situation as well and what does all that look like and what is the level that we come back at?

"It is import that we are open-minded to the best solution and the decisions that have to be made to make the best of the situation we are in.

"It’s important that we’re open minded about what is the best solution because I think we do need to be open minded about some of the decisions that have to get made.

"I think thee provinces have been good in terms of their alignment, everyone’s working off a very similar plan, so if there is a situation where we have to get back up and play games, at least the four provinces are operating under very similar restrictions."