Super Rugby will resume in Australia after teams agreed on Friday to play a domestic competition next month, AFP reported. This follows after the coronavirus pandemic forced their season to be suspended. Axed team Western Force is set to replace Japan’s Sunwolves.
The competition was halted just seven rounds into the 18-round robin scheduled. Since the freeze, governing body SANZAAR has been exploring ways to resume the tournament. Australia has agreed to a domestic competition without fans in line with government restrictions on public gatherings of more than 500 people.
Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle said the proposal would see the Australian teams playing a round-robin home-and-away format beginning on 3 April.
“There are still some elements to work through as a group, but we are extremely confident that we will deliver a meaningful product for the remainder of the season for fans and broadcasters,” she said.
The reworked Super Rugby competition would run until June, followed by a yet to be determined finals series with New Zealand and South Africa believed to be exploring similar scenarios.
“In what has been a challenging time for everyone in our sport, we have seen the rugby bodies in Australia come together to put their full weight behind finding a way for our game to continue in 2020,” said Castle.