No bailout package for SANZAAR countries following pandemic coronavirus - Agustin Pichot

World Rugby vice chairman Agustin Pichot
World Rugby vice chairman Agustin Pichot
©Steve Haag

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot said the governing body will not guarantee a bailout package if any of the Southern Hemisphere team falls out financially following the pandemic coronavirus.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 has led to the suspension of the Super Rugby season and other domestic tournaments around the world. Rugby Australia had is estimating a huge loss with discussions happening between the board and the players' association regarding wage cut.

Estimating an overall £400 million loss if all the Southern Hemisphere games get cancelled for the remainder of the year, Pichot said World Rugby could not bail out individual boards considering every team is set to face financial losses.

"If Australia falls, then it hits straight to New Zealand first, then it will hit South Africa and Argentina so we all fall. There's no individual way," he told Sky Sport NZ.

"It's not about World Rugby giving handouts, because there's no handout possible.

"World Rugby does not have £400 million ... and giving handouts for a cash-flow burden, that won't bring you a solution to the problems that Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina will have if we don't play any games at all this year."

Currently the Rugby Championship features teams from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina but Pichot reckons possible addition of Fiji and Japan could open the market further.

"I strongly believe with this crisis that things will make countries be on their knees for the first time in the history of the professional game. And we need a solution," he said.

"There's no point of having Australia on their knees or New Zealand on their knees or South Africa on their knees, for England, Scotland, Wales if they need that income in November," he added, referring to the Sanzaar teams' annual Test tours of Europe.

"But at the same time, that's where you need to only take care of yourself, but also just see how Fiji comes in. Why not the Rugby Championship? Now with Fiji and Japan coming in, why not?"


2019 Rugby World Cup Points Table