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Drug tests for rugby players at schools

SCHOOLBOY rugby players will soon undergo tests for performance enhancing drugs.

Under a new plan between the Irish Sports Council and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), young players will face tests for banned substances.

The move comes after years of talks - stemming from growing concern about drug use.

The two bodies will attempt to stamp out steroid consumption among players as well as substances such as creatine.

The decision is being viewed as bringing Irish rugby in line with international norms, with countries such as South Africa introducing similar measures two years ago.

Doping tests at South Africa's top school tournament this year found that four players tested positive for anabolic steroids.

The tests were carried out on 47pc of players where the four had used the substances.

Tests would be carried out at rugby grounds before fixtures, rather than in individual schools.