March 25, 2020 / 2:58 AM / 3 days ago

Rugby-World Rugby says examining scenarios for July internationals

March 25 (Reuters) - World Rugby is looking at a range of scenarios that may impact the scheduled July internationals amid the coronavirus pandemic and examining ways of optimising the competition calendar when it is safe to return to action, chairman Bill Beaumont has said.

With the majority of rugby suspended at least until May, World Rugby said it held a “virtual meeting” of its Executive Committee and Professional Games Committee to plot a way forward.

"Our primary and immediate responsibility is to ensure the health and wellbeing of the global rugby community and to collectively support those in need," Beaumont said in a statement www.world.rugby/news/568484.

“At this crucial moment it was reassuring to see all parties unified through shared purpose in this initial exploratory discussion.”

The discussions included financial risk modelling and assessing opportunities to “optimise the rugby calendar” for when it is safe to resume rugby activities.

No international unions have cancelled their July tests, and Beaumont said the sport’s governing body was looking at all possible options.

“The latest projections are that the impact of COVID-19 on public and sporting activities could extend for many more weeks, maybe months, and this productive meeting was an important and unified step towards tackling a global problem together in the best interests of all stakeholders,” he said.

“We are intensively examining scenario planning for the scheduled July internationals, should such a plan be required, while also considering ways to optimise the international competition calendar on and off the field for all when it is safe and appropriate to resume rugby activities.”

World Rugby added that it would be convening similar discussions with its regions and unions outside of the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship competitions. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )

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