Next year's Six Nations Championship and Lions Tour are set to be played behind closed doors based on medical guidelines issued from World Rugby.
The guidelines say that matches should be played without crowds until a vaccine exists for the coronavirus.
Former Irish international and Munster player Alan Quinlan told Newstalk Breakfast that the recommendations paint a stark picture.
"It's kind of frightening to see those medical guidelines that were released by World Rugby. They are somewhat understandable with everything that's been going on for sure. It's going to have a massive impact on rugby right across the board, all the different unions. Certainly at home - the IRFU - the main bulk of their money comes through the international team. Income from the senior men's international team last year generated 81 percent of the IRFU's revenue, which was their best ever financial year.
"It's very worrying in the sense that if you can't generate the funds to run the game it will have a negative effect right the way down to the grassroots and the club game in Ireland. Rugby America has gone into administration already. Things may change. They are only recommendations from the medics from World Rugby, but who is going to go against the medics here, and that's the big fear and worry for all the top unions."
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