Rugby Australia have received NZ$15.4m in funding from World Rugby, the governing body announced on Friday.

World Rugby have set up a Covid-19 emergency relief fund totalling £84m (NZ$172m) which is being allocated to organisations who apply for financial support.

Rugby Australia (RA) projected a potential loss of up to A$120m (NZ$130m) in 2020 if Super Rugby did not resume and all of the Wallabies' Tests were cancelled. The news of RA's funding boost came shortly after World Rugby confirmed that all Test matches scheduled for July 2020 have been postponed.

RA have already stood down 75 per cent of the organisation's workforce, while former chief executive Raelene Castle, who stepped down last month, had previously taken a 50 per cent pay cut.

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Rugby Australia interim CEO, Rob Clarke said: "Our game has suffered an enormous impact globally from Covid-19 and we are very grateful for the support of World Rugby and commend them on their leadership in managing this issue for the global game.

"The financial implications of the virus have been significant for Rugby Australia and this emergency relief funding will provide us with certainty for the next twelve months and enable us to close off our 2019 accounts.

"The funding, in combination with the extensive cuts made across the business, provides us with the short-term impetus to see through the pandemic but does not solve all of the challenges.

"The Board is continuing to work through its plans for organisational reform and, additionally, there are key conversations to be had across the game's stakeholders about our Rugby offering for 2020 and beyond.

"The World Rugby funding provides a much-needed boost and a level of security as we continue this important work."

It was also confirmed on Friday that Hamish McLennan has been appointed chairman of Rugby Australia.

The governing body is hoping to launch a domestic Super Rugby competition by the end of July, similar to Super Rugby Aotearoa in New Zealand, involving the four Australian Super Rugby franchises - ACT Brumbies, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels - along with the Western Force, who were axed from Super Rugby in 2017.

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