International rugby is set to resume in October after the World Rugby Council approved temporary 2020 COVID-19 calendar.
The Rugby Council approved a temporary adjustment to Regulation 9 to accommodate the release of international players for revised 2020 windows.
The adjustment to the regulation has been approved as a temporary measure to mitigate the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on global rugby activities and provides a welcome boost for players, teams, fans, and broadcast and commercial partners.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in its impact on society and sport and throughout this process, all parties have sought to deliver the best possible outcome to support the interests of international and club rugby and the players,” World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said.
The approval follows an extensive and productive dialogue between the sport’s major stakeholders, balancing the interests of the international game, the professional club game and player welfare to determine a schedule that will optimise the immediate financial recovery and funding of the sport at all levels.
“Agreement and approval of this schedule is exciting for players and fans and an important step in supporting our unions in mitigating financial impact and optimising the sport’s return from the pandemic in an equitable way.
Special measures will need to be implemented to deal with any government-required isolation period prior to the start of the competition.
World Rugby is also liaising with emerging unions to explore where it can assist with a programme of fixtures where COVID-19 restrictions permit.