Coronavirus: New Zealand Rugby confident cash reserves can ease crisis

28

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson is confident the organisation has the cash reserves to cope with the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Super Rugby was suspended for two weeks after New Zealand tightened its borders in response to the proliferation of COVID-19, with prime minister Jacinda Arden announcing on Thursday only citizens and residents would be permitted access.

It has been suggested teams from each of Super Rugby’s participating nations could play derbies to enable to competition to continue, though such a plan is yet to be announced.

With teams facing huge losses in revenue, Robinson suggested New Zealand Rugby are in a position where they can help teams bear the brunt of the damage.

“We’re working through those scenarios as we speak. There are a number of different scenarios … essentially we’ve got to make this work,” said Robinson, via Stuff.

“We own the responsibility for the future financial viability of the game, we know we’ve got some incredibly challenging times and some significant headwinds in front of us but we’re confident we can work through it.”

Rob Nichol, head of the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association, acknowledged players may be forced to accept pay cuts, but Robinson said it was too early to tell if that would be required.

“That’s a question for the future,” said Robinson. “I know Rob has come out with an initial view on that. We haven’t had any detailed conversations with the players.

“I’d stress they’ve been fantastic so far in how proactive they’ve been in terms of seeking solutions through all this, and we’ll continue to work with them.

“But that’s not something we’re focused on right now. In due course it might be a conversation we pick up at a later date.”

New Zealand has seen 28 cases of coronavirus infection but no deaths.