Apres Covid 19 Virus

31/03/2020

The World of Rugby,

by Frank Quinn

A new beginning

We draw the line under May, June, July and August and target each of them for a restart for rugby.
You can be sure that World Rugby the governing body has a contingency plan for each month.

It looks like we will have to draw on the China example as a template, they started in December and no new cases at the end of March, a four month spell. What it unclear is what activities they have recommenced with the 1.6 billion people - work - play - meetings - gatherings.

There is only one priority for World Rugby
To raise as much money as possible with the international fixtures to help all the people financially in the effected countries to get back on their feet.

THE WHAT IFS - for the IRFU and Ireland

It is pretty safe to assume that we will not be back on track until July at the earliest to even mention sport. The priority for the government will be the health of the nation, the economy, unemployment, back to work. Sport will be down in Z position on the priority list but it will be important to keep the nation occupied so sport will have its day.

Rugby priorities will be simple, the Australian tour will have been abandoned completely and how to generate cash to replace the money lost on postponements and cancellations is tops. To this end player welfare may have to suffer a bit of a back seat to get the Unions back on track, fixture reinstatements, Players and Teams will be required as the order of the day.

The established priority will be in line with the financial value of the tournament so the Guinness 6N rematch with Italy at the Aviva will be Numero Uno. The first call the IRFU will make is to the Italian Union. To establish a joint date to complete the fixture and get the IRFU off the hook for the tickets sold. This will semi complete our tournament - the next call is from the French to arrange the trip to Paris - their call as a home game for them for their coffers. The Postponed Wales/Scotland and Italy / England games will complete the schedule and determine the final placings for the cash dividend.

Next in the financial stakes is the EPCR - European Cup and the challenge cup, where we have participants. This is more difficult as we are only at the quarter final stages with three matches to win it and scoop the money pool. With 16 clubs in contention it will be a difficult task for the schedulers who will need patience to combine their tournament with the finish of the 6N.

Spare a thought for the third rung on the ladder - the Guinness PRO14, as they also completely write off the 2019/2020 season and divide whatever winning bonuses are available amongst all the participants. It is unlikely that they can make the divvy out to the leaders at the postponed stage. Their season normally commences in September - optimistically they do have a chance.

In last place - will be the Domestic and Club rugby at the IRFU. Their season normally commences in September - so with any luck it can still start then after they also have written off the 2019/20 season with the status quo and no promotions or relegations considered

Written in a handful of paragraphs - But will take a book to sort it out.