Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle says ongoing government restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus could put extreme financial pressure on her organisation and they have suspended their media rights process.
Castle also revealed the last two weeks of the Super W competition have been postponed but could be rescheduled for the last two weeks of May.
She couldn’t guarantee the three home tests in July would go ahead.
Castle confirmed RA had positive conversations with potential bidders for the new rights broadcast right deal, though the process has been put on hold.
“This decision was made after feedback from our stakeholders involved in the process and will allow them to concentrate on the important issues they are own facing within their own businesses,” Castle said.
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She said RA supported the government’s decisions on how to contain the coronavirus as the health and wellbeing of Australians must come first.
“However, any ongoing restrictions will place extreme pressure on Rugby Australia’s finances,” Castle said.
“We are obviously not the only sport in the country facing these challenges in the current environment
“As a sport we have opened communications with the government to flag these significant concerns across all levels of our game.
“We understand this issue is much bigger than rugby and bigger than sport and respect where we sit in the picture of what our government is dealing with at this current time.”
She said there was no reason why players wouldn’t continue to be paid, but stressed the importance of providing more content for the broadcasters.
Quickly thinking on their feet in New Zealand https://t.co/XrLqq60Mil
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 17, 2020
“There are significant commercial considerations and we are looking at at various options for the remainder of the season to deliver content for our broadcasters,” Castle said..
“Our Super Rugby squads will continue to train and prepare as they will at some stage be called upon to play in the coming weeks.
“There are a number of options being discussed, but certainly there are considerations for domestic competitions amongst those scenarios.
“Wherever we land, the competition has to have meaning for fans.”.
Castle said the SANZAAR nations were working together to see if they could devise a competition format for Super Rugby that would make sense, if it was able to resume.
“That links into the games that have already been played that potentially gives us an outcome that allows us to still play a finals series,” Castle said.
RA expect to learn tomorrow the results of coronavirus tests of two members of the Australian sevens program and Castle conceded any positive tests would probably force it to shut down.
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