Siya Kolisi says it is vital Nelson Mandela's legacy continues as the South Africa captain opened up on his role in helping the country fight coronavirus.

Kolisi, who skippered the Springboks to Rugby World Cup glory last year, was due to launch his foundation later in 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has launched Kolisi into immediate action and he has partnered with others to make donations to provide vital supplies to frontline medical workers tackling the crisis.

An Instagram post from the flanker's foundation last week explained: "Whilst the Kolisi Foundation was months from launching with different projects in mind, we couldn't ignore the seriousness of COVID-19 so began to focus our energy and resources on supporting our frontline workers – supplying sanitisers and reusable masks. 

"We are thankful that we have been able to lean on our incredible partners to support the project and will look to partner with other established organisations in the future to guarantee our work is as impactful as possible, addressing hunger and other areas close to our heart."

Kolisi said part of his motivation is ensuring the work of former president Mandela continues.

"I just think his legacy must still continue, the rainbow nation he wanted to see,"he told BBC Breakfast.

"Actually working partnering up with the foundation, helping the frontline workers, we're all trying to attack the hunger and help the workers. 

"Just thinking of other people, the way he lived his life, he always wanted to make South Africa better, that's what we're trying to realise to make sure his legacy continues and because we have a beautiful country, so much potential, we can achieve so much. 

"Hopefully can inspire other people too."

Kolisi is drawing on his own experiences of playing as part of a team to aid a country that has had over 1,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has one of the world's strictest lockdowns.

"It's really tough and I think playing in a team squad, this is going to be a team effort from everyone in South Africa and everyone in general, I think everybody has a role to play," he added. 

"It's a time for people to stay at home and not leave our houses, we have a complete lockdown our president has acted swiftly. 

"I think for people who are in a fortunate basis who can help others, food is a big problem at the moment, we're pushing hard on fighting the hunger, making sure people get meals there are a lot kids who go to school just to get one meal.

"I'm trying to provide for that and making sure we help as much as we can."

Richie Mo'unga has apologised and vowed to be a better role model after Crusaders players were slammed for an "unacceptable" breach of coronavirus lockdown regulations.

All Blacks fly-half Mo'unga headed to Malvern Park in Christchurch on Monday to train on his own, but arrived when another two groups of his team-mates were also training.

Malvern Park said he adhered to government rules by keeping his distance, but was filmed throwing a ball to one of his colleagues.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern was critical of the quintet, which also included Sione Havili, Isi Tu'ungafasi, George Bower and Andrew Makalio, and New Zealand Rugby Chief executive Mark Robinson said their actions were "unacceptable."

Playmaker Mo'unga said he was acting on instinct by picking up the ball, but said he had not arranged to meet his team-mates - with the other two bubbles permitted to head out with each other as they live together.

He said in a video posted on Instagram: "I want to start by saying this was not an organised training. There were no communications beforehand or the night before to say we should train together.

"It was by coincidence that I rocked up and they were there training, just finishing up their session. My local park is their local park, our training schedules were the same, so we run on the same days and it just happened to be it was the same time.

"As I arrived, I yelled to the boys from afar asking how they were and went about my running session.  As I'd finished one of my running sessions, the ball had been kicked over and instinctively I went and picked the ball up and threw it back to them.

"I will say that was the only interaction I had with them apart from talking to them. It's something that was so instinctive for me to do, to pick the ball up and throw it back to them.

"I didn't think twice about it, it's something that happened fast. It's something that I've learnt that even my natural instincts I need to be more careful of and will be more careful of. 

"It doesn't excuse the fact that there were two other bubbles that were passing the ball around together and it doesn't excuse the fact that I can be a better role model in telling the boys 'look, you guys are done, you guys should head home now'. I am sorry for that.

Colin Mansbridge, chief executive of Super Rugby champions the Crusaders, said he is confident "there wasn't a conscious effort to flout the rules" but lessons must be learned.

Former Scotland captain Dougie Morgan, who went on to coach the team at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, has died at the age of 73.

The announcement came from Scottish Rugby, which said Morgan died in an Edinburgh hospital on Saturday after a long illness.

Morgan came to the fore as a scrum-half who won 21 caps for Scotland from 1973 to 1978 and twice played for the British and Irish Lions, both times on the 1977 tour of New Zealand.

Scottish Rugby said it was "immensely saddened" to learn of his death.

As head coach, Morgan led Scotland to the World Cup quarter-finals in 1995, their campaign ending with a 48-30 defeat to New Zealand in Pretoria.

The Scots also threatened a Five Nations Grand Slam in the same year but Morgan's men lost to England at Twickenham in the championship decider.

Morgan went on to serve as team manager after Ian McGeechan took over as head coach.

McGeechan told scottishrugby.org: "On and off the field he was a great friend and companion. I have memories I will always cherish and be very thankful for knowing Dougie."

Former Scotland and Lions player and coach Jim Telfer hailed Morgan's "outstanding contribution to Scottish international rugby", describing him as "a true friend".

England's former captain Bill Beaumont said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of his former Lions team-mate's death.

Current Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Dougie was a hugely popular figure in his time as manager of the national team, someone who enjoyed having a laugh with the players, although he kept his natural competitive instinct whenever we took him on at pool or on the golf course.

"He has contributed a huge amount to Scottish rugby and he’ll be sorely missed.”

Rugby Australia (RA) declared "good progress" had been made as emergency pay talks with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) continued, though an agreement is yet to be reached between both parties.

The governing body recently stood down 75 per cent of its workforce for three months - a move described as "the toughest decision in the game's history" - as it deals with the cost of the coronavirus crisis that has halted the Super Rugby season.

Remaining staff have been offered significant salary reductions or reduced hours, with chief executive Raelene Castle agreeing to a 50 per cent salary cut, while other executives will receive 30 per cent less from April 1 until June 30.

In a statement, RA said "positive and robust" negotiations were held with RUPA again as they aim to work out a "fair and reasonable" deal for players during the unprecedented circumstances created by the global pandemic.

"Representatives of Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players Association met again today and made good progress in the process of negotiating an emergency and interim pay deal in response to the global COVID-19 crisis," a statement read.

"Talks were positive and robust, with both parties agreeing to continue to move negotiations forward with ongoing discussions scheduled for this week. 

"Rugby Australia remains focused on securing a fair and reasonable deal with the players that will help protect the long-term future of our game.

"We also welcome recent comments by World Rugby as it assists all national unions to navigate through this very difficult time.

"The players understand that the burden must be shared by everyone in our game and we will look to reach an agreement which is fair and reasonable given the extraordinary circumstances we are in."

A plan was put in place to start a five-team domestic competition during the suspension of Super Rugby, but that will not happen until the start of May at the earliest.

Wayde van Niekerk says it was "an amazing inspiration" to see South Africa win the Rugby World Cup – especially as the team contained friends and family.

The Springboks triumphed 32-12 over England in the final in Yokohama on November 2 last year to become world champions for the third time.

Olympic 400-metre champion and world-record holder Van Niekerk says the players deserve all the accolades and sponsorship bonuses they have received for their momentous success.

"It's been an amazing inspiration for not just myself but the entire country, and yet another spark for myself as a South African to want to achieve great things," he told Stats Perform.

"I'm quite close friends with a few players and it's great to see how their lives have changed and the blessings and the sponsors and so on that are coming their way. It's amazing, it's well deserved and it's great."

Van Niekerk is friends with several key South Africa players, including captain Siya Kolisi, and he is a cousin of Cheslin Kolbe.

Kolbe battled back from injury in time to play against England and went on to score the final try of the match, capping a terrific 2019 that saw him nominated alongside eventual winner Pieter-Steph du Toit for World Rugby's Player of the Year award.

Van Niekerk recalled: "Thinking back to Cheslin's final try: he's come through so much, moving to France, thinking that he wouldn't make the SA team, and just wanting to go and enjoy his rugby and then getting selected for the World Cup.

"The final try was amazing but let's be honest, his entire tournament, I feel like he was one of the players of the tournament and one of the highlights of the Rugby World Cup.

"I think it's such a blessing and such an amazing blessing to be associated with such great people, like Siya and Cheslin, it's lovely to be associated with them and draw off of them and use them as inspiration for myself, coming back from injury and wanting to do great things for my country the way they did."

Eddie Jones admits he will probably be walking away as a Rugby World Cup winner in three years if England live up to his lofty expectations.

It was announced on Thursday that the 60-year-old had signed a new contract to remain as England's coach through to the next World Cup, where his side will aim to go one better than they did last year.

A 32-12 loss to South Africa meant Jones and his squad left Japan disappointed but, having fielded the youngest ever team to play in a World Cup final, Jones is now looking to the future.

The Australian hopes his pursuit of perfection will result in his team lifting The Webb Ellis Cup in France in 2023.

"We want to become a great team, I think I have stated that fairly consistently," Jones said.

"We want to become a great team; we want to become one of those teams where people remember how you play for a period of time because that's the ache I have as a coach.

"I want a team that plays the perfect game of rugby and I want a team that can be remembered as a great team.

"I think we've got players within England to do that. I think the players have the hunger to do it. I think we're seeing periods of time where they have done it, but we haven't been able to do it consistently.

"The test of greatness is to do it consistently. With that comes results.

"If we're the greatest team then a World Cup medal's probably sitting in front of us. Our goal hasn't changed at all from what I stated at the start of this cycle and it will continue to be the same."

Jones has the best win percentage of any England coach in history, his team having won 78 per cent of his 54 Test matches in charge.

However, the defeat to the Springboks in the World Cup final has left him with a sense of unfinished business.

"Having done the four years, I felt the project hasn't been finished yet. There is still a lot of growth in the team," Jones added.

Eddie Jones has the best win ratio of any England coach, but the biggest prize eluded him last year.

England have won 42 of their 54 games (78 per cent) since Jones' appointment was confirmed in 2015.

On Thursday, the Rugby Football Union announced the 60-year-old had agreed a new deal that will run until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

We take a look at the highs and lows of Jones' time in charge.

 

HIGH - A 2016 GRAND SLAM

Jones' first tournament was a resounding success as England beat Scotland, crushed Italy and then edged past Ireland and Wales in the Six Nations.

A 31-21 triumph over France delivered the Six Nations and a first Grand Slam in 13 years.

"I'm very proud of the boys," Jones told BBC Sport. "It's a great achievement by the team. I always had confidence in them."

HIGH - A 3-0 SERIES WHITEWASH DOWN UNDER

Later that year England headed to Jones' homeland for a three-Test series, and the tremendous start continued for the former Wallabies coach.

Having scored 39 points in Brisbane, a record for England in Australia, a 23-7 victory in Melbourne earned Jones' side their first series success on Wallabies turf.

After a 44-40 win completed a series sweep, England captain Dylan Hartley said: "We can all be proud of what we have achieved."

 

LOW - IRISH END WINNING RUN

England arrived in Dublin in March 2017 seeking both a second successive Grand Slam and a world-record 19th straight victory.

Yet Ireland had other ideas, overwhelming the visitors and claiming a 13-9 win as Jones tasted defeat for the first time.

"I take full responsibility, I didn't prepare the team well and we will respond in the future," Jones said.

 

LOW - FIVE-GAME LOSING STREAK

Fast forward 15 months and things felt very, very different for Jones' side as they lost a fifth game in a row, going down 23-12 to South Africa.

England had lost the last three games of that year's Six Nations - beaten by Scotland, France and Ireland - before back-to-back defeats at the start of the three-Test series in South Africa.

"We're a bit like an old car at the moment - you fix one bit and another part breaks down," said Jones, who saw his team round out the tour with a 25-10 victory in Cape Town.

HIGH - OUSTING THE ALL BLACKS

No one had beaten New Zealand at a World Cup in a dozen years, yet the back-to-back champions were stunned 19-7 in the 2019 semi-finals.

It was perhaps the finest performance of the Jones era, Manu Tuilagi's early try setting England on their way to a famous victory over the All Blacks.

"They've been a great team so we had to dig really deep to beat them," said Jones, whose side advanced to a final against South Africa...

 

LOW - FALLING FLAT IN THE FINAL

A week later England were unable to conjure up another spectacular performance in Japan as South Africa's 32-12 victory meant they took home the Webb Ellis Cup.

Jones' side were simply not at the races, a raft of handling errors blighting their performance.

"That's the great thing about rugby; one day you're the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off," Jones said.

Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney said boards across the world want to help Rugby Australia (RA) after it reported financial problems amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With rugby union leagues and competitions being shut down in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19, RA stood down 75 per cent of its working staff for three months earlier this week, shortly after it had revealed a provisional deficit of 9.4 million Australian dollars in 2019.

USA Rugby has also filed for bankruptcy, claiming the suspensions caused by coronavirus, and the uncertainty about the future, had accelerated financial problems.

Sweeney conceded those announcements have caused concern among the world's unions, who are trying to collaborate on potential solutions to aid those struggling.

"The USA, quite frankly, were struggling somewhat before the crisis hit anyway – so they were perhaps the most vulnerable of anybody," Sweeney explained.

"I know World Rugby are in conversations with them in terms of how they can sustain the game in that country.

"Australia have been reported as being in a weaker position than a lot of others.

"There is an unprecedented amount of dialogue going on between all the unions and the relationship between the north and the south [hemispheres] has probably never been better, and we are just looking at various ways we can structure things that everybody can benefit and find solutions to these challenges ahead.

"It's in no one's interest for Australia to get into even more serious difficulties."

Eddie Jones' England are due to tour Japan in July for a two-Test series against the Brave Blossoms.

However, given the Olympics - staged in Tokyo - has already been put back a year to July 2021, it would appear unlikely England will embark on that tour when scheduled.

"We are in regular dialogue with World Rugby and a lot of the other unions as well around the world," Sweeney added.

"This is a conversation we are having around the July tours. It's a bit too early to say. We expect to be able to make a decision on that towards the end of April."

With Eddie Jones having extended his contract until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England fans can look forward to the Australian providing more special moments.

Jones led England to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016 - his first tournament at the helm - and they were champions again a year later, while only a defeat to South Africa stopped them winning last year's Rugby World Cup.

The 60-year-old made his side one of the best in the sport, and with his calculated wit and sharp tongue he arguably provides the best off-the-pitch entertainment in rugby.

We look back at some of Jones' most memorable quotes.

 

"Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off."

Jones' response when Wales coach Warren Gatland, who saw his team defeated by South Africa in the last four, suggested England could have already played their World Cup final when they beat New Zealand in the semis.

“I think the term 'world class' is used lightly. To be world class, you've got to be an automatic selection in a world XV. We don’t have any of those players. Now, we've got a lot of good players and a lot of players who want to get better. So to say we don't have world class players is not a criticism of the players and not a criticism of the team. It's just the reality of it."

Having said England had no "world-class players" upon his appointment in 2015, Jones was adamant it remained the case after racking up 13 straight Test wins to start his tenure.

"France can expect absolute brutality from England, we are going to go out there to make sure they understand what Test rugby is. It is about being brutal, it is about being physical."

Jones laid down the gauntlet ahead of England's 2020 Six Nations opener against France and it backfired, as Les Bleus clinched a 24-17 victory in Paris.

"No one thinks we can win. New Zealand talk about walking towards pressure - well, this week the pressure is going to be chasing them down the street. The busiest bloke in Tokyo this week will be Gilbert Enoka, their mental skills coach. They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times. It is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain and they will be thinking about those things. Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup, and they will be thinking about that, and therefore there is pressure."

After suggesting New Zealand had sent a spy to watch England train ahead of their World Cup semi-final clash, Jones turned up the heat on the All Blacks.

"I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked. That's what I'm expecting, mate. Everything that's done around the game is going to be coordinated. All coordinated to help Australia win. We've got to be good enough to control what we can control."

Jones claimed Australia were going to make England's life as difficult as possible after arriving for a three-Test tour in June 2016.

"We control our own destiny. We want to go out there and smack Italy. I have told the boys already that that is our aim - to go out there and give them a good hiding. If you look at the rankings we are a better side than Italy. We have to prove that on Sunday. We want to be absolutely brutal up front so there is no Italian player left standing at the end of the game."

Ahead of only his second game in charge, Jones made it clear he expected a significant increase in physicality from his players.

"We've played 23 Tests and we've only lost one Test to the scummy Irish. I'm still dirty about that game but we'll get that back, don't worry."

England were hoping to deny Ireland the Grand Slam in their final 2018 Six Nations game and Jones was out for revenge after they inflicted the first defeat of his tenure. He later apologised for the comment and Ireland triumphed 24-15 at Twickenham.

"If he was Sexton then we'd be able to complain about him. But because he's Owen Farrell he's allowed to be hit late. He's tough so he gets up and he plays. He's a tough rooster, a warrior. He takes the ball to the line, he puts his body on the line, he doesn't play in a dinner suit."

Jones suggested Owen Farrell's determination to play through pain led to him getting less protection from referees than Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton.

Eddie Jones will look to enhance his legacy with England over the next four years after signing a new contract extension.

It was announced on Thursday that the 60-year-old will stay on as England coach until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, who had previously been in charge of Australia and Japan, was appointed England's coach five years ago.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we take a look at Jones' tenure in numbers.

 

78 per cent - Having led his team to victory in 42 of 54 games, Jones has the best win ratio of any coach in England's history.

42 wins - Those 42 wins are the second most of all time and Jones should exceed World Cup winner Clive Woodward's 59 victories in the coming years.

40 players - Across Jones' time in charge, 40 players have been handed England debuts. Of those, 26 are forwards and 14 are backs.

23 tries - Jonny May has certainly enjoyed Jones' coaching, the wing crossing for 23 tries. Elliot Daly has the second-most scores with 15.

52 caps - Jones has handed a cap to fly-half George Ford in all but two of his 54 games at the helm. England's current captain Owen Farrell has the second-most appearances under Jones with 48.

571 points - Farrell has by far and away the most points, though. His tally of 571 is significantly more than those of Ford (174) and May (115).

2 Six Nations titles - England won the Six Nations in each of Jones' first two campaigns. In 2016, Jones delivered the country's first Grand Slam in 13 years.

18 wins in a row - A second Grand Slam was dashed by Ireland in March 2017. That 13-9 loss in Dublin brought an end to England's 18-Test winning run, a joint-record they held with New Zealand.

7-0 v Australia - The nation England have beaten the most often under Jones is Australia, the country of his birth. England have won all seven of their matches against the Wallabies.

England coach Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension through until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, 60, took the helm of England in late 2015 and has been rewarded for what has been a successful stint in charge.

The Australian has overseen 42 wins in 54 Tests as England coach, including leading them to last year's Rugby World Cup final, where they were beaten by South Africa.

Jones has re-signed through until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, which is due to be hosted by France.

"The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing," the England coach said.

"We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together.

"I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years, but the circumstances are right.

"Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that."

Jones' 78 per cent win ratio is the best of any England coach in the nation's history.

During his tenure, Jones has led England to two Six Nations titles - including a Grand Slam in 2016 - a 3-0 series victory in Australia and an 18-match unbeaten run.

Jones added: "I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes.

"Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It's a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it.

"We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it's a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward."

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced wage cuts for its staff as it faces up to huge losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and confirmed its five Super Rugby franchises will receive grants.

Reports suggest the governing body could lose out on 100million New Zealand dollars in revenue.

Chief executive Mark Robinson said NZR staff and its board are taking a 40 per cent cut for at least three months.

It follows similar measures taken by other top-tier rugby nations.

"It's an incredibly challenging time, we have fantastic rugby people all around the country at the moment dealing with difficult financial circumstances," Robinson told reporters.

NZR also confirmed its Super Rugby teams will receive an emergency grant to help ensure they are prepared for when the competition can resume.

"An emergency NZR grant of $250,000 each is to be made available to all Super Rugby clubs for the next three months which is seen as a critical supplement to other financing options or levers being considered by the clubs," Robinson added.

"Super Rugby is a vital part of our rugby eco-system and has a solid 25-year track record as a strong and admired rugby competition that has valuable intellectual property and a legacy of world-class rugby.

"These decisions are about protecting the core capability of the Super Rugby clubs so that they are ready to hit the ground running if Super Rugby resumes later this year, and also be in a position to revive and participate in Super Rugby in whatever shape it takes in 2021 and beyond.

"The Super Rugby clubs and NZR have also agreed to pause the negotiation of Super Rugby franchise licenses and use this time to review the business principles and governance of the competition so that the future of the clubs is sustainable, and they are match ready."

Michael Fatialofa has opened up on his "traumatising" experience in intensive care and described suffering his serious spine injury as "pretty scary".

The Worcester Warriors lock sustained a fracture in his C4 vertebrae as well as a spinal contusion, a condition which causes compression on the spine, during the Premiership encounter with Saracens on January 4.

Fatialofa spent four weeks at St Mary's Hospital in London, three of those in intensive care, before being transferred to a specialist spinal clinic at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital.

Last month, his wife Tatiana posted a video on Instagram of Fatialofa walking unaided, which she described as "a miracle".

In an interview with 1 NEWS, Fatialofa spoke about those life-changing events.

"I wasn't even trying to be a hero or anything. I think it was just the perfect mix - my head was in a bad position. His hip was there and it was just one of those things," he said.

"From my neck down, I couldn't feel anything or move anything.

"It was pretty scary and I was really short of breath because ... the spinal cord was compressed and anything below the spinal cord is affected, and that includes my lungs, and I was just kind of trying to breathe."

On being in intensive care, he added: "It's a time that's tough to think about.

"My room-mates were victims of gun violence and stabbings and I could hear everything going on. Just all the beeping and no sleep. It's something I don't really like thinking about now that I'm past it.

"I heard some people die next to me. It was quite traumatising. All I could hear was a beeper go off, everyone rush in and then I have a new room-mate the next day."

Rugby Australia (RA) has stood down 75 per cent of its workforce for three months in a move it called "the toughest decision in the game's history".

Its remaining staff have been offered significant salary reductions or reduced hours after the coronavirus outbreak brought Super Rugby and the international game to a halt.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle has agreed to a 50 per cent pay cut, while other executives will receive 30 per cent less from April 1 until June 30.

Plans to launch a five-team domestic competition during the suspension of Super Rugby have been put on hold until at least May 1.

Castle said in a statement on Tuesday: "Today we have had to deliver the hardest news imaginable to our incredible, hard-working and passionate staff, that many of them will be stood down for a three-month period so that the game can survive this unprecedented crisis.

"Since the suspension of our proposed domestic Super Rugby competition, we have been working to understand both the immediate and long-term financial implications for the game as a result of the suspension of the competition, and potential further loss of revenue-generating content as we look ahead to the international season.

"Our extensive modelling shows that as a code, we could lose up to [AU]$120million in revenue should it not be possible for any rugby to be played in 2020. Of course, that is the worst-case scenario, and we are very hopeful that we can recommence the Super Rugby season and domestic Wallabies Test matches at some point this year.

"The measures we will implement from April 1, although extremely painful, are necessary to ensure the sport remains financially viable and to ensure that we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild. It is our priority to keep all of our valued team connected and engaged through this period.

"We shared with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) today the breadth of our cost-cutting including the standing down of 75 per cent of our staff. We will work closely with RUPA to reach an agreement which is appropriate given this unprecedented situation.

"I want to pay tribute to each and every member of staff across our rugby organisations and once again stress that once we get through this crisis, and we will, rugby will be back stronger than ever. All staff on stand down will have continued access to Rugby Australia support services during this time."

The Rebels and Brumbies announced all their employees would be stood down or continue with reduced pay until the end of June.

USA Rugby has filed for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on sport across the world.

In a statement on Monday, USA Rugby said the impact of COVID-19 has accelerated existing financial issues after voting to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

USA Rugby suspended sanctioned competition and rugby activities indefinitely on March 20 due to the coronavirus crisis.

The American union will undergo a restructuring process with input from World Rugby, while the United States' men's and women's senior national teams will continue to compete as normal when the sport returns.

"This is the most challenging period this organisation has faced and all resolves were never taken lightly in coming to this determination," said USA Rugby Chair Barbara O'Brien.

"While the current climate is of course much larger than rugby, we remain focused with stakeholders and supporters in the continued effort toward a balanced rugby community where the game can truly grow."

Globally, there have been over 37,700 deaths and at least 784,380 confirmed cases.

In the United States, more than 3,100 people have succumbed to the virus, with over 163,400 cases.

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