Rugby Australia have finally had a boost following months of financial turmoil, World Rugby providing them with $14.2million AUD from the game’s global governing body Covid-19 relief fund. The emergency relief loan fund of approximately $160m AUD from World Rugby is being allocated to unions on an application and evaluation basis to support the global game and mitigate the overall impact of the pandemic on the sport.

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Rob Clarke, Rugby Australia’s interim CEO, said: “Our game has suffered an enormous impact globally from Covid-19 and we are very grateful for the support of World Rugby and commend them on their leadership in managing this issue for the global game.

“The financial implications of the virus have been significant for Rugby Australia and this emergency relief funding will provide us with certainty for the next twelve months and enable us to close off our 2019 accounts.

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“The funding, in combination with the extensive cuts made across the business, provides us with the short-term impetus to see through the pandemic but does not solve all of the challenges.

“The board is continuing to work through its plans for organisational reform and additionally there are key conversations to be had across the game’s stakeholders about our Rugby offering for 2020 and beyond. The World Rugby funding provides a much-needed boost and a level of security as we continue this important work.” 

Elsewhere, Rugby Australia announced the appointment of Hamish McLennan as a director and chairman-elect to be welcomed officially on to the board at its June 15 meeting. RA chairman Paul McLean said the appointment was a critical factor in the transition to new stable leadership for Rugby Australia and the game.

“Hamish’s appointment marks a new era as we reset Rugby Australia and our game with a focus on the future,” McLean said. “He brings exceptional commercial skills and experience in leading some of the largest and most successful businesses in the country.”

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