March 24, 2020 / 3:03 AM / 4 days ago

Rugby - Premiership could play midweek matches to finish season: CEO

(Reuters) - England’s Premiership Rugby is considering midweek matches and staging multiple games behind closed doors at a single venue to complete the 2019-20 season, league chief executive Darren Childs has said.

The Rugby Football Union cancelled the remainder of English rugby domestic season last week, excluding the English Premiership, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

England’s top-flight competition is suspended until at least April 24, with nine rounds and the playoffs still to be played.

“Our number one priority is to find a way to play, and that is what we are all working on behind the scenes,” Childs told British media.

“We want to get this season finished, and if that means playing over the summer, then we will do that, as long as it is safe to do so. We won’t take any risks about anyone’s health and welfare.

“We are all working to try and hopefully be the first sport back on television, whether that is in a closed stadium or an open stadium. There is no reason why we couldn’t play four games over a weekend in a single stadium.”

Several of the Premiership’s 12 clubs have told their players and staff to take a 25% pay cut due to the postponement of rugby during the coronavirus outbreak, with Harlequins becoming the latest to announce such a measure on Monday.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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