Donal Lenihan believes the 10% salary reduction and income deferrals for elite players until the end of the year is a reasonable solution in uncertain financial times for Irish rugby.

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Rugby Players Ireland agreed a deal after a consultation process amid the Covid-19 crisis.

While the salary reduction and deferral of income do not apply to players earning up to €25,000 per year, salaries above that figure will be subject to a 10% salary reduction for the period from 1 July to 31 December and similar salary deferral.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1, former Ireland captain Lenihan feels the agreement between the union and the governing body has come in light of an understanding of the financial constraints currently at play.

"Things didn't get off to a great start with the sort of leaking to the national newspapers as to the fact that the IRFU were looking for salary reductions for the players," he said.

"We've seen in England in particular, a battle between the players' union and the Premiership clubs in terms of 25% salary reductions there.

"I think there is a deep understanding that we are in difficult times. The problem for the IRFU is their model is predicated very much on putting bums on seats and it looks now as if the Autumn internationals, if they do go ahead, they could well be behind closed doors.

"That's going to cost the union somewhere between €10-15 million. I think the players knew that there was going to be a salary reduction.

"In the circumstances, 10% for the remainder of the year seems reasonable. But look, it's worrying times for all sports and they can now go on and look forward to getting rugby started with those interpros in the end of August."