RA hoping for World Rugby financial help

Adrian Warren

Rugby Australia is hoping Thursday's World Rugby executive meeting will outline firm details of financial assistance for struggling nations.

World Rugby last month announced details of a dedicated COVID-19 relief strategy aimed at supporting the game and mitigating the overall impact of the pandemic on the sport.

It involved a relief fund of approximately US$100 million to assist unions requiring emergency funding.

The fund is expected to be on Thursday's agenda, with cash strapped unions looking for clarification, or even confirmation, of funding assistance.

It's believed it could be worth $15 million or slightly more to RA, which faces a substantial shortfall in revenue this year especially if unable to stage several home Tests.

In jeopardy are the three home Tests in July - two against Ireland and one versus Fiji.

It has been a turbulent year for the local governing body with CEO Raelene Castle standing down in April.

A group of 10 former Wallabies captains expressed their disenchantment with the way the game was being run.

In late March, RA stood down 75 per cent of their workforce for three months and in April an interim pay deal was hammered out with players who agreed to an average 60 per cent pay cut.

RA still has to broker a new broadcast deal for beyond 2020.

Rob Clarke was last week appointed as interim CEO with RA aiming to have a replacement five or six-team domestic Super Rugby competition up and running by early July.