Changes to the structure of the season, new ways to finance the sport, and making television deals are all vital to make sure rugby succeeds when it returns.
But all the framework in the world won't help if ways are not found to cut down the number of games that are a cross between 1960s rugby league and sumo wrestling.
In 1965, as a country kid starting a new job at the New Zealand Herald, one of the attractions of moving to Auckland was seeing a game of league for the first time.
• Phil Gifford: Simon Barnett on his wife's fight and his return to radio
• Phil Gifford: New Zealand Rugby's biggest shame - and the people responsible for it
• Phil Gifford: Rugby's great injustice - and a tribute to Terry Lineen
• Premium - Phil Gifford: The Super Rugby referee mistake that needs fixing
League and rugby union fans then usually shared a mutual contempt. League was "state house rugby" if you were a union follower. League people called rugby "kick and clap".
In the mid-1960s league allowed teams to play the ball an unlimited number of times, so two lines of players with battered noses and scarred eyebrows (league then, way more than it does in the modern era, allowed head shots that would make MMA brawls look tame) smashed endlessly into each other.
Have a look at some of the rugby replays that are filling time on Sky's sports channels now. In 21st century rugby they don't call it a play the ball, they call it a breakdown. But the result is often the same as in old school league. Endless breakdowns, where commentators note "that's the 15th phase and they haven't made any ground at all".
In 1967 league introduced a four tackle rule, which went to six tackles in 1972. In the unlimited tackle days there were still flashes of sheer brilliance. A genius of the game, a centre for Ponsonby and the Kiwis called Roger Bailey, would stroll around the paddock looking almost bored until he would suddenly take a step, feint as if to run, and then fire as good as pass as any oval ball player in the world has ever thrown to his wing, who would miraculously find himself in open space. In a flash the sodden swamp that was mid-winter Carlaw Park had been transformed into something as thrilling as a high wire act at Cirque du Soleil.
Rugby players like Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane, and Sevu Reece have a lot of that Bailey ability to electrify a game. To make sure fans come back when it's again safe for crowds to gather, the trick for rugby is surely to make sure there's more running, stepping, dodging, weaving and try scoring than large units lumbering into each other to set up another one off runner.
How could that be done? Here are three possibilities.
1) Enforce the off side line at breakdowns
To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, time to get medieval on the ass of those defenders who creep forward at the breakdown.
Setting a five or 10 metre gap behind the last foot of a defending team at the breakdown would be even better, but could quickly turn into chaos. League struggles to always maintain the gap behind the play the ball, and that's at a much more static situation.
In rugby a new breakdown can be set up every two or three seconds, so policing, say, a 5 metre offside line, in real time could be a total nightmare. But it'd be a great idea to just police the current rules.
How far you'd go with that is a big question. World Rugby vice-president Agustin Pichot has suggested the sport go hi-tech, and use a drone to check on lines.
"Let's use the technology," he said last year, "and that will soon sort it. Within five games, players will know that Hawkeye is watching them and they will stay back. That is my view."
It does feel like a step a bit too far into the future, but let's remember that there was a time when rugby officials swore video referees would be the end of the world as we know it. In 1998 I argued the idea on the Holmes show on TVNZ with David Moffett, then the CEO of the New Zealand Rugby Union. Yes, there are times when all of us could do without endless replays of a possible try, but basically I'd stick with my feelings in '98. If you need technology to get things right, then use it.
2) Speed up setting the scrum
It was imperative that changes were made to make setting a scrum safer. For a terrible period in the 1980s young players were suffering critical injuries.
At lower levels, where spectators are not being charged to watch, taking all the time in the world to keep players safe is fine.
But one former All Black this week suggested to me that at the highest levels the time may have come to set a time limit for setting the scrum, just as there is for taking a kick at goal.
To set a scrum now, in Super Rugby or tests, takes, on average, a minute. Cutting that down to 30 seconds would a least be a push in the right direction.
Not having ever been a prop, finding the solution to collapsing is well beyond my skill set. But surely people who have propped at the highest level could work out a way to restart the game without endless resets, that can (I've timed them) take up to three minutes that are of zero interest to anyone.
3) Stop tactical substitutions
In 1996 All Black coach John Hart was quite rightly outraged when in the first test of an historic series win giant Springbok prop Os du Randt said he was "gatvol", which roughly translates to "stuffed" in English, and left the field in the first test in Cape Town. Du Randt wasn't injured, which was then the only reason for a replacement to be allowed. But what was in fact a tactical substitution followed, and a Springbok prop, Dawie Theron, who wasn't "gatvol" finished the game in du Randt's place.
At the end of that year the International Rugby Board changed the laws, and subs have been with us ever since.
Clever coaches make good use of subs, and while, in some cases, players are brought on who add to the attacking prowess of the team (think Beauden Barrett at the 2015 World Cup), the fresh legs usually add to the defensive strengths.
It sounds almost callous, but having players starting to feel fatigued over the last 20 minutes just might allow more opportunities to attack and score tries. And the more that happens the more likely fans will continue to enjoy the game.
Williamson 'grounded and modest'
Kane Williamson has always presented as a good man, and he went up even further in my estimation with his open letter to frontline medical staff. If ever words portrayed someone as grounded and modest, it was in these two paragraphs.
"People talk about the pressure sportsmen and women are under to perform, but the truth is we get to do something we love every day for a living. We play games.
"Real pressure is working to save lives. Real pressure is going into work each day while putting your own personal safety on the line for the good of others."
They deserve to be read, and digested, by any sports star who starts to believe their problems are somehow bigger, or more special, than the problems of the average man or woman in the street.