Scottish Rugby bosses have revealed the sport might not make a return until next September at the earliest. Despite Scotland’s July tour to South Africa and New Zealand still being on the calendar, administrators have now confirmed national team player salaries will be reduced by between ten to 25 per cent.

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Meanwhile, players from Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland 7s, stage three Scottish Rugby Academy and Scotland women 2021 contracted players have all been furloughed in an effort to stem costs. 

This follows discussions between Scottish Rugby and Rugby Players Scotland (RPS), the players’ association. It’s a catastrophic development that highlights how the sport won’t be making any short-term comeback despite hopes in the UK that the current government lockdown could be lifted by the end of April.  

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How the Scottish Rugby Union unveiled its pay cut demands on Monday

Jim Mallinder, Scottish Rugby’s director of performance, said: “We are in unprecedented circumstances and one of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is that all rugby has ceased both domestically, internationally and professionally. This has had a significant impact on Scottish Rugby, as it has on others involved in the game and other sports.

“Together, Scottish Rugby and Rugby Players Scotland have recognised that we need to take appropriate measures as a result of this. This approach will allow us to protect our players and the organisation as much as possible through this uncertain period. 

“This is a rapidly changing picture. We will continue our positive dialogue with RPS to assess what we need to do to protect our sport, our people and the rugby community.”

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RPS interim chief executive Bill Mitchell said: “Along with all other national player associations RPS is very concerned about the uncertainty surrounding our sport internationally.

“We have worked hard over the last few weeks to find ways of achieving long-term sustainability of employment for our members without impacting on incomes. However, we now acknowledge that the growing difficulty of implementing a realistic timetable for restarting global competition makes that goal impossible to achieve.

“Reluctantly, therefore, we are forced to conclude that the actions announced on Monday by Scottish Rugby represent a reasonable way to protect the long-term employment of our membership while addressing the immediate financial challenges facing the sport in Scotland.”

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