Rugby Australia secures TV deal for domestic competition

Rugby Australia has secured a television rights deal for its domestic competition, Super Rugby AU, with Fox Sports to broadcast all matches of the 12-week competition.

In a statement released on Wednesday, interim RA CEO Rob Clarke said he was thrilled to deliver "the best possible news" to rugby fans around the country, adding that a number of innovative developments had been agreed to in order to "push the boundaries" of broadcasting rugby in Australia.

"We are excited to announce the return of professional rugby in Australia and the kick-off of Vodafone Super Rugby AU on July 3," he said.

"Our focus is now back where it should be, getting [the competition] up and running next month and watching our five Australian teams go head-to-head in week after week of Aussie derby action.

"Fans can also expect to see something different during the new season, as we use the opportunity to innovate and push the boundaries and we look forward to showcasing a new brand of Rugby throughout this 12-week competition."

Clarke added that negotiations were ongoing between the governing body and broadcasters including Fox Sports, as to the future of the Wallabies on screens around the country.

"[We] look forward to making further exciting announcements with regards to our 2020 Test match schedule over the coming weeks," he said.

The full draw for the 2020 Super Rugby AU season is expected to be unveiled on Thursday.

SANZAR CEO Andy Marinos added; "It is very unfortunate that our 25th year of Super Rugby has been curtailed and affected by the pandemic, but we have been determined to see Super Rugby return. With international travel virtually impossible at present the revision of Super Rugby to competitions within our major territories was the only sensible path to take."

"The National Unions have done a remarkable job in getting Super Rugby to return in New Zealand and Australia and I commend their hard work and fortitude in working with their respective governments and health authorities to make it happen.

"In addition to having the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition commence this weekend (Saturday 13 June) and the Vodafone Super Rugby Australia competition commencing on Friday 3 July, we are delighted to see crowds back in full force in New Zealand. We also hope by the time Super Rugby Australia commences we will also see fans back in Australia.

"I would like to acknowledge our Broadcasters all of whom have stood by the code during this difficult time for us both. It is a testament to our long-standing relationship with our rights holders that we have been able to get rugby back on the field and TV screens as soon as possible."