Today, following a meeting of the National Development Panel, Rugby Australia along with the State and Territory Member Unions have unanimously agreed to postpone all Community Rugby until the first week of May, effective immediately.
This recommendation covers Rugby matches, Rugby training and face-to-face Rugby education courses. Although this decision has not been made lightly, it has been made with the interests of the participants, families and the broader community as the priority.
In arriving at this decision, Rugby Australia and the Member Unions have considered public health information and the advice of the Rugby Australia Chief Medical Officer, Dr Warren McDonald. The group acknowledges that this decision is a more conservative approach then has currently been recommended by the Australian, State and Territory Governments. However, it has been made to provide clarity to the Rugby community in a challenging and disruptive time.
Rugby Australia and the Member Unions are fully committed to supporting the game through this difficult time and the decision will allow for six weeks of planning to deliver a modified season which will commence, at this stage, at the beginning of May. The modified season will vary at a local level to best support the needs of our local Rugby communities.
It is acknowledged that there are a variety of Rugby competitions underway and Rugby Australia will work closely with Member Unions to minimise this disruption.
It is not the intention for this decision to interfere with the non-rugby related activities of our Rugby clubs, such as operation of licensed facilities. Government advice should continue to be followed in this regard. Rugby Australia and Member Unions will also work to increase the opportunity for people to engage in online education to ensure our critical workforces are ready for the recommencement of Community Rugby.
The National Development Panel will meet weekly for the foreseeable future and will review this position and communicate any updates regularly.