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