Rugby Australia has confirmed the finalisation of a domestic competition model as part of Sanzaar’s solution for the remainder of the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
With Super Rugby suspended after the completion of round seven, the past week has seen talks across the Sanzaar nations in a bid to solve the future of the 2020 competition.
Rugby Australia has now confirmed that the Western Force will step in with the Sunwolves making way for a round robin home-and-away format beginning on 3 April.
Discussions are continuing at Sanzaar level and with competition broadcasters on the specifics of the draw and Finals Series.
All matches would be played in closed venues in line with current Australian Government restrictions on public gatherings.
Japan’s Sunwolves, who form part of the Australian Super Rugby conference, fall out due to new travel restrictions imposed by the Australian Government.
‘Rugby Australia, the four Australian Super Rugby teams and RUPA are united behind the continuation of Super Rugby in 2020 and have been intensively working towards a competition solution with our SANZAAR partners over the past six days. There are still some elements to work through as a group, but we are extremely confident that we will deliver a meaningful product for the remainder of the season for fans and broadcasters,’ said Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle.
‘We have agreed on the principles of proceeding down the path of a domestic solution in Australia which will see our teams compete against each other in a round robin format from April through June, followed by a yet to be determined Finals Series format.
‘While our focus has been on developing a competition model that will enable us to meet our commitments to fans and broadcasters, careful attention has also been given to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the welfare of our players, support staff and match officials under the new proposed model. The Chief Medical Officers of each nation have been integral to these discussions, and together with the announcement of the new competition we will be announcing a range of measures and protocols to be introduced for the remainder of the season in the interest of protecting and safeguarding our athletes.
‘In what has been a challenging time for everyone in our sport, we have seen the Rugby bodies in Australia come together to put their full weight behind finding a way for our game to continue in 2020 and on behalf of Rugby Australia I offer our sincere gratitude to Sanzaar and each of our Super Rugby teams, RUPA, Global Rapid Rugby and the Western Force, and Fox Sports.’
‘We hope to provide a further update on the Super Rugby season with our Sanzaar partners in the coming days.’
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