Rugby Australia CEO admits July series with Ireland 'highly unlikely' to go ahead

Australia’s summer series against Ireland is in major doubt, according to Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.

The Wallabies are set to take on Andy Farrell’s Ireland in Brisbane on July 4 and Sydney on July 11, before playing Fiji in Townsville on July 18.

Yet with the global rugby calendar facing huge uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, those games look set to be postponed, or even cancelled.

Rugby Australia held their annual general meeting on Monday, where they revealed a $9.4 million operating deficit for the World Cup year of 2019.

And CEO Castle also admitted that the July Test matches may not go ahead as the Wallabies face into a hugely challenging financial period.

“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,” Castle told the AFP news agency.

“There will be conversations that will happen from a World Rugby point of view so we can think about if July doesn’t go ahead, which obviously seems highly unlikely now, whether there is football available at the back end of this year.”

Castle also revealed that in light of the current situation, she will take a 50% pay cut and her executive would follow with a 30% wage reduction.

Players are also expected to take a hit in their wages, with Rugby Australia set to meet with the Rugby Union Players’ Association on Tuesday.