Postmedia emailed Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen last week to get an update on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting operations and planning.
The French Barbarians cancelled their North American tour, which included the game scheduled for Montreal versus Canada, earlier this month.
“We are in communication with World Rugby and Italy regarding the status of our July test in Halifax, as well as Rugby Americas regarding the ARC tournament and matches Canada was hosting in Calgary and Winnipeg, but a final decision on the games/tournament has not yet been made.”
The sevens teams maintain their qualification status for the Games in 2021, and all associated funding. They work with their partners at Own The Podium, Sport Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee on the potential competition and training schedule changes leading into the Olympic Games and some of the required changes to the timing of some of the funding needs, etc.
Like many businesses, they have had to make some adjustments to their operations during this time.
Players that receive funding through Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program continue to receive their monthly funding from Sport Canada.
Rugby Canada has provided a number of players in their centralized programs with training support allowances, which they have confirmed, will remain in place through April.
At this time, they have not implemented any layoffs or furloughs as they are applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program through the Federal Government.
All staff accepted a 10-15 per cent temporary reduction in their pay to assist Rugby Canada’s financial challenges and we continue working to deliver services and programming to the Canadian rugby community, as well as performing administrative and planning tasks.
As they head into the spring season, they recognize this situation resulted in a shortened rugby season in B.C., as well as uncertainty for the start of play for the remainder of Canada and their summer fixtures.
Rugby Canada sent a message to fans and supporters:
“We thank the entire Canadian rugby community for their patience, understanding and compliance with the important prevention measures put in place by our public health officials; we are looking forward to getting our game and athletes back on the pitch when safe to do so.”