Australia vs Ireland Test series now 'unlikely' due to coronavirus impact with England clash also under threat

Simon Collings
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Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has warned that the Wallabies’ two Tests against Ireland this summer could be axed due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the match against England in November at risk too.

The spread of coronavirus has led to the mass cancellation of sport across the world and rugby is no different.

Rugby Australia has been hit hard and the growing uncertainty caused by the pandemic led to the governing body being unable to publish their annual report and full financial results on Monday.

Rugby Australia, who held their annual meeting in a virtual capacity on Monday, also confirmed that Test schedules for the coming year could be disrupted.

Their two summer Tests against Ireland are looking “less and less likely” according to Castle, while fixture congestion could force the Wallabies to cancel their European tour in the autumn.

Australia are due to travel to England, France and Ireland, but Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship might have to take priority if they are pushed back towards the end of the year.

“The July Test matches are looking less and less likely as the days go by but that will ultimately be a decision that is made in consultation with World Rugby,” said Castle.

“It's multifaceted, there's the conversations that will happen at a World Rugby level so we can think about, if July doesn't go ahead, which seems highly unlikely now, and the reciprocal window is available at the back end of this year.

“Whether that means Australia going north to play those games or whether there's other elements that we need to consider to look after sponsors and broadcasters to deliver content.

“At the back end of the year delivering Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship might be something we need to consider doing.

“There's those elements around the calendar from a World Rugby point of view.”

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