Ireland’s rugby tests against Australia could face cancellation after Rugby Australia announced it was standing down 75 percent of staff for three months.
Ireland are due to face the Wallabies in Brisbane and Sydney in July and in Dublin in November, but the first two matches are set to go and the third game may also not occur.
The Australian governing body are facing a loss of over €60 million in revenue if Super Rugby and test matches are cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The measures regarding staff apply until June 30th.
Rugby Australia CEO Raelane Castle said via a statement:
“Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable to our incredible, hard-working and passionate staff, that many of them will be stood down for a three-month period so that the game can survive this unprecedented crisis,” she said.
“We welcome the announcement from Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg yesterday regarding the Job Keeper payment and we will work closely with all our staff to ensure they can access whatever government support is available over the coming months.
“Since the suspension of our proposed domestic Super Rugby competition, we have been working to understand both the immediate and long-term financial implications for the game as a result of the suspension of the competition, and potential further loss of revenue-generating content as we look ahead to the international season.
“Our extensive modelling shows that as a code, we could lose up to $120 million in revenue should it not be possible for any Rugby to be played in 2020. Of course, that is the worst case scenario, and we are very hopeful that we can recommence the Super Rugby season and domestic Wallabies Test matches at some point this year.”
Ireland are due to welcome Australia to the Aviva Stadium on November 7th, followed by matches with South Africa and Japan. The Six Nations games against Italy and France have also to be rescheduled.