Plans for a domestic competition as part of a way to continue the Super Rugby season have been put on hold, Rugby Australia (RA) confirmed on Monday.
The Super Rugby campaign was suspended earlier this month due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to stricter travel measures.
A remodelled domestic competition was “in the final stages of approvals” with plans to start on April 3, but has been suspended until at least May 1. A further review will follow in mid-April.
“Rugby Australia and the Super Rugby teams have made the decision today to suspend the start of the revised competition on the latest guidance from the various government and health authorities and our chief medical officer,” RA chief executive Raelene Castle said in a statement.
— Rugby Australia (@RugbyAU) March 22, 2020
“Our priority is the health and welfare of our athletes and our wider rugby community as we continue to adapt to an unprecedented and constantly-evolving situation for our game and society.
“The decision to postpone the restart of the competition until May 1 is in line with the suspension of all community rugby in Australia and will give us the opportunity to review our position across the whole rugby landscape in a month’s time.
“Our message to the entire rugby community today is to follow the advice of the government and health authorities. We must do whatever it takes to stop the spread of the virus. The spirit of the rugby community is a powerful force, and the only way out of this crisis is to work together and look out for each other.
“While this is having an unprecedented impact on our sport and many other sports, this is bigger than sport and that is why we will continue to put the health and welfare of our people above anything else.”