Ulster Rugby have put all players and coaching staff on furlough to handle the financial crisis caused by the pandemic coronavirus.
Ulster chief executive Jonny Petrie had confirmed that 70% of the province’s 183 staff including the 44-member squad and coaching staff members have been placed under UK government’s job retention scheme which will allow employers to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker.
Earlier, the Irish Rugby Football Union had said the four regions have agreed to a payment deferral for all employees ranging from 10% to 50% for those earning more than €25,000 per year.
“The first thing to do was for everyone to buy into a salary deferral, which we did quite early,” the Ulster chief executive told BBC Northern Ireland.
“We had positive conversations and discussions through the IRFU as well, with Rugby Players Ireland, and everyone in Ulster Rugby understands the nature of the situation and everyone wants to work together to protect the business in the long term so that when we come out the back end of this, we are coming back better and stronger than we were when we went in.
“All the discussions with the players around that have been very understanding about why we’re doing that.
"So they understand the bigger picture of why it’s important to, like thousands of other businesses and governing bodies in sport, to be able to take advantage of appropriate government schemes to be able to help us ride through this period.”