2020 international rugby season 'could be over': rugby chairman

File: World Rugby is also exploring a way to return to playing.

File: World Rugby is also exploring a way to return to playing.


LONDON - World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont believes it is a "distinct possibility" that the international rugby calendar could be scrapped this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The game's global governing body announced details of a $100-million relief package aimed at supporting the global game.

The organisation is also exploring a way to return to playing but the current global uncertainty led Beaumont to concede it may not be possible to hold any more fixtures this year.

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"That is a distinct possibility," Beaumont told The Times. "The pressures on the unions are getting greater and greater."

Beaumont is standing for re-election as chairman of World Rugby but next month's elections will see him go up against vice-chairman Agustin Pichot.

The former Grand Slam-winning England captain's bid for a second four-year term took a hit when former teammate Clive Woodward backed the ex-Bristol and Argentina skipper.

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Beaumont's running partner Bernard Laporte last week floated the idea of a yearly Club World Cup, an idea that could sound the death knell for the Champions Cup.

However, Beaumont added: "It was a misunderstanding. What I can see is a world club championship, but not an annual basis. That is the way we both look upon it."