Wed, 23 Sep 2020

The Welsh Rugby Union plans to keep a watching brief on other sports as its regional clubs prepare for a return to action amid a looming cash crisis intensified by the coronavirus.

A date of 22 August has been pencilled in for the Pro14 to restart after the league was halted by the spread of Covid-19.

Welsh clubs' collective funding from the WRU could drop from Pound 26 million to less than Pound 3 million over the next year, with the national governing body hard hit by the prospect of having to play home international matches behind closed doors.

Other sports in the UK are close to resuming, with football's Premier League set to restart on 17 June and England's cricket team to host the West Indies in July, while horse racing has already returned to action.

"We have a huge opportunity to learn in detail about how to create a safe environments for players, virus testing, hygiene and sanitation, matchday logistics, venue management, travel to and from games and general safety for all others involved from referees to other staff and, obviously in the future, spectators," said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips.

"We will watch and learn and we will be in a better position because of the opportunity to do this."

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