NEWCASTLE and Hunter Rugby Union are drawing up competition models for as short as four weeks and have also moved to safeguard the union from going broke if no games are played this season.
Rugby Australia announced on Friday it had extended the postponement of all rugby activities until at least June 1. May 2 was the initial date.
NHRU competitions had been scheduled to start on March 28.
General manager Andy Fairfull had been anticipating the delay due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, but remains hopeful of starting competitions on June 13, which would allow a full round to be completed.
"All the evidence suggested that the spread rates were going to be higher in early May then when it first shut down," Fairfull said. "From our perspective, we are drawing up a lot of different competition scenarios which get smaller and smaller as the delay goes on.
"Some of the coaches have said even if it got cut down to three or four weeks, it would be better to do something than nothing."
The ban includes training and if Rugby Australia gives the green light to start on June 1, clubs would have less than two weeks to prepare for round one.
"It would be a bit of a struggle, but it might bring everyone back to the field a little bit too," Fairfull said. "Gala days, round robins, shoot outs, double-header weekends, mid-week games ... a whole lot of things are being touted so when we are able to get grass roots rugby back on, we can get through as many games as possible."
However, the Newcastle representative team's tour to Argentina in late September has been shelved.
"Financially, it would be difficult to raise money for that tour now," Fairfull said.
The suspension of the competition has hit the NHRU finances hard. They have received a third of the normal registrations. About 60 per cent of their revenue is obtained from hosting the final series.
"If you take the revenue from the final series and registrations out of NHRU, it is pretty hard to break even," Fairfull said. "In the past few weeks I have been working with the executive on how we can reduce our overheads. We will get rent abatement from the council."
The NHRU have three full-time staff including Fairfull.
He is likely to take a pay cut and will register for the government's Jobkeeper allowance for the two administration staff.
"Revenue is basically nil until we know what is happening with registrations and the finals," Fairfull said. "We have created a financial plan to handle it. Tough decisions have been made to make sure we stay afloat."
Meanwhile, minor premiers NSW, which includes Hunter girls Katrina Barker, Maya Stewart and Layne Morgan, have been declared Super W champions.
The final between NSW and Queensland had been postponed until May 24, but Friday's announcement scuppered those plans.
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