Coronavirus: Rugby Australia stands down 75 per cent off staff

By Sports Desk March 31, 2020

Rugby Australia (RA) has stood down 75 per cent of its workforce for three months in a move it called "the toughest decision in the game's history".

Its remaining staff have been offered significant salary reductions or reduced hours after the coronavirus outbreak brought Super Rugby and the international game to a halt.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle has agreed to a 50 per cent pay cut, while other executives will receive 30 per cent less from April 1 until June 30.

Plans to launch a five-team domestic competition during the suspension of Super Rugby have been put on hold until at least May 1.

Castle said in a statement on Tuesday: "Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable to our incredible, hard-working and passionate staff, that many of them will be stood down for a three-month period so that the game can survive this unprecedented crisis.

"Since the suspension of our proposed domestic Super Rugby competition, we have been working to understand both the immediate and long-term financial implications for the game as a result of the suspension of the competition, and potential further loss of revenue-generating content as we look ahead to the international season.

"Our extensive modelling shows that as a code, we could lose up to [AU]$120million in revenue should it not be possible for any rugby to be played in 2020. Of course, that is the worst-case scenario, and we are very hopeful that we can recommence the Super Rugby season and domestic Wallabies Test matches at some point this year.

"The measures we will implement from April 1, although extremely painful, are necessary to ensure the sport remains financially viable and to ensure that we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild. It is our priority to keep all of our valued team connected and engaged through this period.

"We shared with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) today the breadth of our cost-cutting including the standing down of 75 per cent of our staff. We will work closely with RUPA to reach an agreement which is appropriate given this unprecedented situation.

"I want to pay tribute to each and every member of staff across our rugby organisations and once again stress that once we get through this crisis, and we will, rugby will be back stronger than ever. All staff on stand down will have continued access to Rugby Australia support services during this time."

The Rebels and Brumbies announced all their employees would be stood down or continue with reduced pay until the end of June.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Cricket Australia braced for T20 World Cup postponement Coronavirus: Cricket Australia braced for T20 World Cup postponement

    Cricket Australia (CA) is braced for a huge financial hit due to the possible postponement of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, as well as playing home games without spectators. 

    Speaking to the media on Friday, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts predicted the governing body stands to miss out on 80million Australian dollars due to the potential changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Admitting there is a “very high risk” of the global T20 tournament being pushed back from the original plan of October and November this year, Roberts outlined the expected missed income due to such a delay. 

    However, the bigger blow is a home summer without any fans present at international fixtures, while there is also the extra cost of the biosecurity measures required to host opposing teams. 

    "The likelihood of significant crowds is very slim - ordinarily that would deliver well over $50m revenue to CA," Roberts told reporters. 

    "The T20 World Cup is a big question and that's a factor of perhaps $20m. We have been hopeful all along that it could be staged in October-November, but you would have to say there's a very high risk about the prospect of that happening. 

    "And it's likely that our biosecurity measures that we need to put in place to deliver the season will cost in the order of $10m." 

    Australia are due to host Zimbabwe in one-day internationals in August, then West Indies arrive for T20 games in October. As for Tests, Afghanistan are due to play one in Perth in November, followed by a four-match series against India, who complete their tour with three ODIs in January. 

    New Zealand are the final visitors of a packed schedule, making the short trip for three one-dayers and a one-off T20 early next year. 

    On the recently released schedule, Roberts remained cautiously optimistic, adding: “We're very optimistic that we will be able to stage the India men's tour and the other inbound tours for the season. 

    "But we're realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer. We have been forced to effectively plan for the worst and hope for the best." 

  • Ultimate XI ODI Profile: Mike Hussey Ultimate XI ODI Profile: Mike Hussey

    Mr Cricket, Michael Hussey’s rise to the international ranks took place belatedly, with the middle-order batsman earning a call to Australia’s One-Day International (ODI) team in 2004 when he was just two months shy of his 29th birthday. But once he got there, his attitude to everything cricket was tremendous. That attitude meant he ended with a healthy career average of 48, rarely failing to bolster the Australian middle-order. Without aiming for the big shots over the top, Hussey scored at a brisk 87.16, running between the wickets hard and never failing to find the gaps in the field. He was as busy at the crease as he was on the field, always keeping an intensity that the rest of the Australian setup fed from. In truth, Hussey was an opener but was pushed down the order in the Australian line-up. That too was accepted with the same professionalism he approached everything. Centuries were not a regular feature of Hussey’s career, not because he didn’t have a penchant for batting for long periods, but because he generally bat with the lower order and wasn’t given the time. Still, he scored three centuries, including 109 not out against the West Indies at the Kinrara Academy Oval in 2006. He would also score 105 against New Zealand in 2007 and fell a run short of his unbeaten highest against Bangladesh in 2011.


    Career Statistics

    Full name: Michael Edward Killeen Hussey

    Born: May 27, 1975, Mt Lawley, Perth, Western Australia

    Major teams: Australia, Chennai Super Kings, Durham, Gloucestershire, Mumbai Indians, Northamptonshire, St Lucia Zouks, Sydney Thunder, Western Australia

    Playing role: Middle-order batsman

    Batting style: Left-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm medium

    Height: 1.80 m


    ODI Career: Australia (2004-2012)

    Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave      BF       SR      100s    50s    4s      6s   

    185     157      44     5442      109*   48.15    6243   87.16       3      39     383     80   


    Career Highlights

    • 2007 ICC world Cup winner
    • The top-ranked ODI batsman in the world in 2006
    • Scored 3 centuries and 39 fifties
    • Scored 5,442 runs at an average of 48.15
  • West Indies set to play three-match T20 series in Australia in October West Indies set to play three-match T20 series in Australia in October

    The West Indies are set to play Australia in three T20 Internationals in October, Cricket Australia has announced.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.