World Rugby has announced a dedicated COVID-19 relief strategy which aims to support the global game and the unions who are suffering from the impact of the current pandemic.
The strategy is underpinned by approximately €92 million which will be put into a fund and made available to unions who require immediate emergency financial assistance subject to appropriate criteria being met.
It is designed to assist the maximum number of unions for the maximum amount of time while there is a rugby void.
“Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable."
Rugby Australia could lose a significant amount of revenue if their Tests against Ireland are cancelled. https://t.co/aoC9RYxlg8
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For Six Nations and SANZAAR unions, the financial package will potentially involve a combination of advances and loans, while World Rugby is also committed to supporting emerging nations and regional associations where required.
Elsewhere, World Rugby have confirmed that they, in conjunction with the various unions and International Rugby Players, have made progress in the delivery of a viable 2020 international competition calendar, subject to relevant government and health authority advice.
This will likely involve the reshaping of the global rugby calendar which, in turn, could provide a framework to permanent changes in the global calendar in the future.
“Global sport is facing a crisis never seen before and at this most challenging time we are taking unprecedented action as a sport united to support global rugby, its unions, competitions and players through the enormous challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said.
“The measures announced today will provide support and short-term relief in the form of a US$100 million relief fund, while we are committed to exploring calendar options that reflect and address a dynamic, complex and uncertain environment.
“I have chaired many productive meetings in recent weeks with my union, region, competition and player colleagues and we are rapidly moving towards a viable calendar solution and, while compromises are being made, the outcome will be in the best interests of the whole game.
“This is a process with solidarity, unity and leadership at heart – one that sets a potential blueprint for successful collaboration in the future and I would like to thank everyone for their openness, cooperation and global view.”