Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:27 30 Mar 2020

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Ireland's two-Test series against Australia this July is "highly unlikely" to go ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Andy Farrell’s side are due to face the Wallabies in Brisbane on July 4th and then in Sydney a week later.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said the Wallabies home games against Ireland and Fiji in July were "highly unlikely" to happen.

"The July Test matches are looking less and less likely as the days go by.

"But that will ultimately be a decision made in consultation with World Rugby.

"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 added that November's Tests against Ireland, England and France may also have to be cancelled in order to finish the Super Rugby season and the Rugby Championship.

The Rugby Australia chief was also unable to guarantee that Australia would be able to maintain its four teams in Super Rugby - the New South Wales Waratahs, Queensland Reds, ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels.

Castle said: "Delivering Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship might be something that we need to consider doing.

"(For) 2021, there's a high probability that the calendar won't look exactly like it looks at the moment.

"I think there’s a lot of uncertainty over the cost of flights, how far players will want to travel.

"At the moment we have contracts in place around delivering a Super Rugby structure with four Super Rugby teams and that’s the model we will be working to,” she said.

"But it would be crazy for us not to be thinking of other scenarios that might roll out."

Super Rugby was suspended earlier this month after seven rounds of the season and Australia are scheduled to face New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina in the Rugby Championship in August and September.

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