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All community rugby in Australia put on hold until May

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16th March, 2020
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There will be no club rugby played in Australia until at least the start of May after Rugby AU and the state governing bodies unanimously decided to suspend community rugby in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision comes after Super Rugby was put on hold over the weekend, with fears the rest of the season will be cancelled due to the spread of the virus.

The decision on lower-level rugby in Australia means no matches, training sessions or other courses will take place during the hiatus. Rugby AU’s national development panel will meet once a week to review their response to the pandemic.

Full statement regarding community rugby from Rugby Australia
Today, following a meeting of the national development panel, Rugby Australia along with the state and territory member unions have unanimously agreed to postpone all community rugby until the first week of May, effective immediately.

This recommendation covers rugby matches, rugby training and face-to-face rugby education courses. Although this decision has not been made lightly, it has been made with the interests of the participants, families and the broader community as the priority.

In arriving at this decision, Rugby Australia and the member unions have considered public health information and the advice of the Rugby Australia chief medical officer, Dr Warren McDonald. The group acknowledges that this decision is a more conservative approach then has currently been recommended by the Australian, State and Territory Governments. However, it has been made to provide clarity to the rugby community in a challenging and disruptive time.

Rugby Australia and the member unions are fully committed to supporting the game through this difficult time and the decision will allow for six weeks of planning to deliver a modified season which will commence, at this stage, at the beginning of May. The modified season will vary at a local level to best support the needs of our local rugby communities.

It is acknowledged that there are a variety of rugby competitions underway and Rugby Australia will work closely with member unions to minimise this disruption.

It is not the intention for this decision to interfere with the non-rugby related activities of our rugby clubs, such as operation of licensed facilities. Government advice should continue to be followed in this regard. Rugby Australia and member unions will also work to increase the opportunity for people to engage in online education to ensure our critical workforces are ready for the recommencement of community rugby.

The National Development Panel will meet weekly for the foreseeable future and will review this position and communicate any updates regularly.