Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

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Dave Cahill
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Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Dave Cahill »

Leinster Rugby has this morning announced the submission of detailed plans to Government for a proof of concept test event, to assess the use of rapid antigen testing as a solution for the safe return of spectators to matches at the RDS Arena.

With matches in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup scheduled for the coming weeks, a trial match could take place as early as next month, May 2021.

Details of the comprehensive plans, which have IRFU approval and are a direct response to the Government’s Rapid Testing Group’s recommendation to immediately implement antigen trial events, were submitted to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media on Friday, 9th April and include:

Leinster Rugby would host a match where a pilot scheme for rapid antigen testing to detect COVID-19 would be trialled with a limited number of 2m socially distant spectators
Pre-match antigen testing would take place by appointment and would be on site at the RDS
The chosen rapid antigen testing system is EU approved and can successfully detect Covid-19 and all variants of concern
The antigen tests would complement existing Covid-19 guidelines already in place at the RDS Arena for staff and teams
Capacity for this proof of concept match at the RDS Arena will be capped at 2,000 spectators, just 11% of normal match-day capacity


Addressing the plans Leinster Rugby CEO, Mick Dawson outlined the background to the submission.

“This is an expertly researched project, which has been subject to robust scrutiny at every level, and we see it as a key contribution to the Government’s efforts to return our country to some form of normality. This initiative has the potential to be used as a blueprint by all sporting, cultural and community organisations for the safe return of limited crowds to their events.

“In October 2020, a combined working party from the FAI, GAA and the IRFU submitted proposals to the Department of Sport around the return of supporters to our grounds in a safe and Covid-19 compliant manner. The report made a number of recommendations but in particular the need for trial games ahead of any full re-opening of stadia.

“Similarly, a report was launched last week by the Government’s Rapid Testing Group, chaired by Professor Mark Ferguson, which also recommended the immediate use of antigen testing on a trial basis in schools, colleges, workplaces and sporting organisations as an additional tool to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

“Leinster Rugby has been working with key stakeholders for a number of months to finalise plans for a phased re-opening of the RDS Arena.

“We are confident that we have the infrastructure in place to ensure a safe and efficient trial and Martin Murphy, Chair of the combined working party, has written to the Department of Sport accordingly, outlining our readiness for such a trial and indeed, as I have stated earlier, our willingness that any data and lessons from such a trial be shared with relevant authorities and with other National Governing Bodies.”



The 52-page Covid-19 response plan incorporating rapid antigen testing drafted by Event Safety Consultants, Eamon O’Boyle & Associates, adheres to all recommendations contained in the Government’s Rapid Testing Group Report, and is in addition to the current Covid-19 Event Management Plan already in place at the RDS Arena and in operation successfully since October 2020.

Since the resumption of professional sport, 11 Leinster Rugby matches have been played behind closed doors at the RDS Arena, with no incidences of Covid-19 reported as a result of these games taking place.

“What we are offering the Government” continued Dawson, “is a pilot test event that meets all the recommendations of the Rapid Testing Groups’ Report.

“This is an opportunity to show that matches with supporters are possible, under strict testing, supervision and management of course, and that there is a roadmap ahead that rugby and indeed all sports and events can follow.

“The lessons that we could all take from hosting such a trial match would be invaluable as the wider sports and entertainment industry looks to recover from the effects of the last 12 months and looks forward to a better and a brighter future when we can hope to resume some level of normality.

“At some stage we have to take those first steps, and we believe that we have a robust and safe plan in place that will allow us to do just that, and plan for the safe return of all supporters from the beginning of next season.”

The capacity for the trial game would be a maximum of 2,000 spectators, just 11% of the normal RDS Arena match-day capacity.



Leinster Rugby Official Members will be offered an opportunity, by ballot, to purchase a pair of tickets and each attending pair of spectators must come from the same household or Covid-19 bubble.

The antigen testing centre would open on match day from 7.00am, with testing by appointment only through a secure mobile App.

Originating from Germany, the rapid antigen testing system chosen to be deployed is on the EU approved list of antigen tests and can successfully detect Covid-19 and all variants of concern.

The secure mobile App and related testing technologies for this proof of concept event are also approved by the UK Government and will be used for multiple large sporting events in the UK over the coming weeks as the UK further lifts Covid-19 restrictions.

Access to the RDS Arena to attend the match will be on the basis of each spectator receiving a negative antigen test result.

Spectators, who have received a negative result, will be segregated into four separate RDS Arena zones of 500 people.

Each zone will have their own entry and exit points and facilities. Seating will be on the basis of two metres social distancing between each pair and wearing of face masks will be compulsory.

Any spectator in receipt of a positive antigen result, a Covid-19 PCR test will be organised for them either at the RDS or using the current HSE testing system. That spectator and their companion will not be permitted entry to the match.

https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/leinster-r ... ing-pilot/
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cormac
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by cormac »

Really hoping they get the go-ahead for this. Could imagine there being some demand for tickets
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by D4surfer »

Put me down for 2 tickets please.

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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Oldschool »

Kind of raises the issue of vaccination passports.
1. If one has received their first vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive for either the Antigen and/or the PCR tests.
2. If one has received their second vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive etc etc.
3. Are the answers to 1 and 2 state secrets.
4. Are the answers to 1 and 2, it doesn't matter because NPHET are not going to sanction it no matter what the latest evidence is.
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ronk
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by ronk »

Glad they’re doing this. At least they’re trying to do something for the people who bought memberships

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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by brotheroffrank »

makes sense; there are a number of separate controllable entrances; lots of space in the RDS for antigen testing to be done without crowding, etc; its outside, everyone can wear a mask....

In addition to the supporters club I'd be in favour of the entire squad attending and each player being able to bring family and Leinster Rugby Staff being able to attend with Family; a number of tickets being made available to Sponsors, Leinster Charities and Rugby Clubs, as well as some by lottery amongst Leinster Supporters Membership (the clubs/Membership club being the categories I'd be in...)....when you look at it that way 2000 in total is a small number, but we have to start somewhere....

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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Serb »

Oldschool wrote:Kind of raises the issue of vaccination passports.
1. If one has received their first vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive for either the Antigen and/or the PCR tests.
2. If one has received their second vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive etc etc.
3. Are the answers to 1 and 2 state secrets.
4. Are the answers to 1 and 2, it doesn't matter because NPHET are not going to sanction it no matter what the latest evidence is.
If you’re genuinely interested in an answer here, I asked my missus who is an immunologist and she says that it’s very unlikely you could test positive for Covid after a vaccine dose.

She also got vaccinated and participated in a Covid trial as a control the day after and they weren’t concerned about a false positive.

But yeah, I agree with point 4, this won’t happen. RA tests are 95% accurate which is grand for testing one person. When you need a bunch of people to also be Covid free, the odds of missing a positive Covid case massively increase. Even with 100 people, reliability drops to 0.6%. Efficacy of testing 2,000 people is effectively zero.

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Oldschool
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Oldschool »

Serb wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 6:32 pm
Oldschool wrote:Kind of raises the issue of vaccination passports.
1. If one has received their first vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive for either the Antigen and/or the PCR tests.
2. If one has received their second vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive etc etc.
3. Are the answers to 1 and 2 state secrets.
4. Are the answers to 1 and 2, it doesn't matter because NPHET are not going to sanction it no matter what the latest evidence is.
If you’re genuinely interested in an answer here, I asked my missus who is an immunologist and she says that it’s very unlikely you could test positive for Covid after a vaccine dose.

She also got vaccinated and participated in a Covid trial as a control the day after and they weren’t concerned about a false positive.

But yeah, I agree with point 4, this won’t happen. RA tests are 95% accurate which is grand for testing one person. When you need a bunch of people to also be Covid free, the odds of missing a positive Covid case massively increase. Even with 100 people, reliability drops to 0.6%. Efficacy of testing 2,000 people is effectively zero.
Thanks for the reply.
Really appreciate the information because it's impossible to get a straight answer from anyone.
So thanks again.
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blockhead
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by blockhead »

I nominate IanD for a ticket, or at least his flag. Just wouldn't be the same.
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by outcast eddie »

Oldschool wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 2:18 pm
Kind of raises the issue of vaccination passports.
1. If one has received their first vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive for either the Antigen and/or the PCR tests.
2. If one has received their second vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive etc etc.
3. Are the answers to 1 and 2 state secrets.
4. Are the answers to 1 and 2, it doesn't matter because NPHET are not going to sanction it no matter what the latest evidence is.
For what it's worth, I had a negative PCR result 24hrs after my first (AZ) jab last month so the vaccine doesn't affect tests.
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Blueberry »

Fair play to Leinster and Mick Dawson, beginning to put ideas out there and get some pressure on moving things forward.

If we leave it up to NPHET we will have empty stadiums for God knows how long so the pressure needs to be built and this is a start.

Good work.

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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by fourthirtythree »

Serb wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 6:32 pm
Oldschool wrote:Kind of raises the issue of vaccination passports.
1. If one has received their first vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive for either the Antigen and/or the PCR tests.
2. If one has received their second vaccination more than two weeks before the event are they likely to test positive etc etc.
3. Are the answers to 1 and 2 state secrets.
4. Are the answers to 1 and 2, it doesn't matter because NPHET are not going to sanction it no matter what the latest evidence is.
If you’re genuinely interested in an answer here, I asked my missus who is an immunologist and she says that it’s very unlikely you could test positive for Covid after a vaccine dose.

She also got vaccinated and participated in a Covid trial as a control the day after and they weren’t concerned about a false positive.

But yeah, I agree with point 4, this won’t happen. RA tests are 95% accurate which is grand for testing one person. When you need a bunch of people to also be Covid free, the odds of missing a positive Covid case massively increase. Even with 100 people, reliability drops to 0.6%. Efficacy of testing 2,000 people is effectively zero.
0.006% even?
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Serb
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Serb »

fourthirtythree wrote: 0.006% even?
You gotta multiply by 100 to get it as a percentage!

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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by SoupyNorman »

Serb wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 6:32 pm
Oldschool wrote:Kind of raises the issue of vaccination passports.
But yeah, I agree with point 4, this won’t happen. RA tests are 95% accurate which is grand for testing one person. When you need a bunch of people to also be Covid free, the odds of missing a positive Covid case massively increase. Even with 100 people, reliability drops to 0.6%. Efficacy of testing 2,000 people is effectively zero.
0.006% even?
Only 190 people needed to get to 0.006%.

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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Peg Leg »

blockhead wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 7:33 pm
I nominate IanD for a ticket, or at least his flag. Just wouldn't be the same.
I'm sure they'd take the flag without IanD for the next home games
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fourthirtythree
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by fourthirtythree »

Serb wrote:
April 12th, 2021, 8:37 pm
fourthirtythree wrote: 0.006% even?
You gotta multiply by 100 to get it as a percentage!
Whoops! Thanks for the informative post btw. Liked my hope, and as we all know it's not the despair....

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Blue Man
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Blue Man »

Please make it happen. I’ve seen similar experiments in Holland and Barcelona so it appears viable

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cormac
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by cormac »

There are similar experiments taking place in England this weekend. 4,000 at Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final today.
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Dave Cahill
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by Dave Cahill »

Aaaaaand its a no.
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Re: Leinster Rugby announce plans for Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot

Post by riocard911 »

Dave Cahill wrote:
April 27th, 2021, 7:21 pm
Aaaaaand its a no.
Well there must be a very good reason for it, as Health Minister Stephen Donnelly used to work for McKinsey and they only employ the absolute smartest people.

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