The Irish Rugby Football Union and Rugby Players Ireland have agreed a deal which will see elite players take a 10% salary reduction and a 10% deferral in their incomes until the end of the year. 

Following a consultation process, the player representative group agreed to a 10% salary reduction for the period from 1 July to 31 December and a 10% salary deferral, with 5% subject to a retrospective salary reduction, pending the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Players earning up to €25,000 per year are not subject to the agreement. 

The union's non-playing staff are now working four-day weeks as rugby's governing body attempts to reduce expenditure, and initial reports suggested that pay cuts for players of up to 20% has been sought. 

The sport has been mothballed since March, but a resumption is planned for the end of August, when teams will return to action in the Guinness Pro 14 competition. 

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: "Irish Rugby, like all sports organisations, businesses and society in general, has been severely impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, with major uncertainty continuing around our future financial income streams.

"The IRFU, the provinces and clubs remain in a highly precarious financial situation, making it critically important that an agreement was reached on this matter."

His RPI counterpart Simon Keogh said: "Aware of the significant challenges facing not just rugby but the country as a whole as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe the agreement reached is reflective of our shared ambition to see rugby at all levels continue to thrive.

"We would like to acknowledge the good working relationship with the IRFU that has underpinned the process and will continue to contribute to Ireland's on-field success.

"The players have already returned to work and are focused on preparing for the much-anticipated return to competitive rugby in August."