World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont says there won’t be a decision for at least a month on whether the July internationals will go ahead.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Beaumont discussed the wide-ranging impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on the global game, but called for unity between governing bodies throughout world rugby.
‘We are awaiting what governments will say about July, but there will be no decision for at least a month,’ he said. ‘We are well aware of the financial situation down south.
‘The southern unions are looking at the July Tests and the northern unions are looking at the November Tests, but we are all in it together. There is no one who is going to make a lot of money during this time. Everyone is going to suffer.’
The world champion Springboks were set to face Georgia and Scotland in July, and England had back-to-back Tests in Japan scheduled, for example, while there are various domestic and cross-border tournaments that need to be completed once competition hopefully returns.
However, Beaumont called for everyone to embrace a spirit of ‘we are all in this together’.
‘I am very confident the unions will work together through this. Northern unions will feel the impact, too. If none of the northern teams could stage November Tests, then the situation would become extremely serious, but there is a spirit globally that we are all in this together.
‘We don’t know what the solutions will be until this all pans out a bit more. I cannot say that, right now, we have a solution for this. Unions will want to resume matches, but clubs will want to resume their seasons, too.’
He added that the game couldn’t afford a mad scramble to maximise profits and reschedule matches once it was possible to do so.
‘It has to be controlled. It can’t be like the Wild West. People can’t have gold fever, all chasing the pot of gold. Everyone needs to know where they stand.
‘It’s a jigsaw. At the moment we have just about put the outside of it together, but now we need to sort out the middle bit.’