Coronavirus Outbreak: New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson says sport is fighting for survival due to COVID-19

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson says the sport is 'fighting for survival' as competitions at all levels are shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press March 25, 2020 10:03:10 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson says sport is fighting for survival due to COVID-19

Wellington: New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson says the sport is "fighting for survival" as competitions at all levels are shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.

 <span class=Coronavirus Outbreak New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson says sport is fighting for survival due to COVID19" width="380" height="285" />

Representational image. AFP

Robinson told Sky Sport's "The Breakdown" he can't say when professional rugby might resume in New Zealand and in what form, whether it would be the five-nation Super Rugby tournament or the domestic Mitre 10 Cup.

Rugby is New Zealand's national sport and the All Blacks, the national men's team, are one of the country's most recognisable brands.

The continuing suspension of competitions was fully testing rugby's resilience, Robinson said.

"We're fighting for sport's survival in New Zealand around rugby, and if you can't get motivated by that challenge and the opportunity that sits beyond that then we'll never be motivated," Robinson said. "It's creating anxiety in our game at all levels, from our clubs and community level and into our professional ranks."

"We've just got to take a little more time to understand the information we have to gather and then we'll be in a position hopefully early next week to start making some decisions and giving a bit more direction and certainty to people."

Robinson said he had taken part in a conference call with World Rugby on Tuesday but wasn't able to say whether July test matches will take place.

World Rugby is “in a similar mode to what we all are at the moment, trying to understand a whole range of different scenarios," he said. "At the moment, the dialogue looks very positive and constructive but like a lot conversations, we need a bit more time to play out what this might look like. A hell of a lot of work is going on in the background."

New Zealand Rugby has indicated it might be forced to call for government assistance if the shutdown persists and further strains its finances. The organisation had already taken steps to cut expenditure but hadn't yet moved to cut pay to top players.

"The government has done an amazing job in showing leadership," Robinson said. "In a way that has left us with the best opportunity to get on the field earlier. If we're looking at a short turnaround to get through this and past COVID-19 , then it presents a great opportunity to be playing rugby all the more earlier."

Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak

Updated Date:

also read

What is R-number, why you should know about it, and what it says about COVID-19 situation in India
India

What is R-number, why you should know about it, and what it says about COVID-19 situation in India

According to some estimates, India’s R-value has increased slightly to 0.88 in the first week of July after being at its lowest-ever value of 0.78 in June-end

Firstpost Explains: Two golds? Two silvers? How COVID-19 could make hockey event at Tokyo 2020 an unusual affair
Sports

Firstpost Explains: Two golds? Two silvers? How COVID-19 could make hockey event at Tokyo 2020 an unusual affair

Two golds in hockey at Tokyo 2020? Two silvers? Firstpost Explains how COVID-19 could make the hockey tournament at Tokyo Olympics an unusual affair

Tokyo Olympics 2020, Form Guide: Tracking Indian women's hockey team over last two years
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020, Form Guide: Tracking Indian women's hockey team over last two years

Tracking the Indian women's hockey team's fortunes over the last two years heading into Tokyo 2020 Olympics