Rugby Australia set to benefit from World Rugby relief fund

Rugby Australia’s financial problems could be alleviated by a $158m World Rugby relief fund as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on sporting events and organisations.

The fund, comprising advances and loans, will be available for Six Nations and Sanzaar unions requiring immediate emergency funding, subject to criteria being met.

The package could be worth around $15m to RA, who have already made extensive cuts to their administration and may finalise an interim pay deal with the Rugby Union Players’ Association as soon as Friday.

“Global sport is facing a crisis never seen before and we are taking unprecedented action as a sport united to support global rugby, its unions, competitions and players,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

“The measures announced today will provide support and short-term relief, while we are making excellent progress towards calendar options that reflect and address a dynamic, complex and uncertain environment.”

Australia had three home Tests on the slate for July, two against Ireland and one with Fiji.