SYDNEY (Reuters) - New South Wales Waratahs coach Campbell Aitken admitted there were mixed emotions for his team after they secured their third straight Super W title by declaration because of the coronavirus outbreak.
With all rugby in Australia suspended until at least June 1, Rugby Australia made the call to name the Waratahs, who were top of the women’s competition standings with four wins out of four and three bonus points, champions on Friday.
“It is mixed emotions for us, obviously I’m happy for the players and staff after all the effort they put in but disappointed we didn’t get a chance to play in the grand final and put on a show for our home fans,” Aitken told rugby.com.au.
The third year of the competition was cut short before a playoff to decide which of the Queensland Reds or ACT Brumbies would meet the Waratahs, who have never lost a Super W match, in this year’s final.
Despite Rugby Australia facing a financial crisis amid the coronavirus shutdown, director of rugby Scott Johnson said the governing body would continue to back the women’s game.
“Women’s rugby is going from strength to strength in Australia and, whilst rugby may be paused for now, we will continue to support our women’s programmes as we build towards the Olympic Games and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand next year,” he said in Friday’s statement.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford