Steve Hansen said the future of the game was at risk if unions did not look out for each other. Photo: BackpagePix
Steve Hansen said the future of the game was at risk if unions did not look out for each other. Photo: BackpagePix

Hansen says rugby world must work together to secure game's future

By Reuters Time of article published Apr 20, 2020

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The rugby world must set aside self-interest and come together to help the sport make it through the coronavirus crisis, former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has said.

World Rugby said last week it had created a relief fund of some $100 million to assist unions as they grapple with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hansen said the future of the game was at risk if unions did not look out for each other.

"We have an opportunity now to start with a blank page because you have got everybody putting self-interest to the side. They know they could be gone if they don't do the right thing," Hansen told Wales Online.

"So it's a great opportunity to bring everybody together -- north, south, individual countries -- and do what it is right for the game. It's been a long time coming.

"There has been a lot of self-interest and if we don't do the right thing, we could lose the game and that would be a tragedy. We have lost our way in rugby a little bit and we haven't been working well enough together."

England's Rugby Football Union has projected a loss of up to 50 million pounds ($62.40 million) while Rugby Australia faces losses of about A$120 million ($76.14 million) if no more games are played this year.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont has said they were in discussions with Six Nations, SANZAAR and the International Rugby Players union to draw up plans for a return to rugby once governments and health authorities give the green light to resume competition.

The body said they were also planning for contingencies if cross-hemisphere travel is not possible, with a worst-case scenario being no more international rugby being played this year.

Reuters

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