Coronavirus: New Zealand Rugby set to lay off full-time staff due to COVID-19 - reports

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) may be forced into mass redundancies due to the financial fallout from the coronavirus lockdown. 

According to RNZ, staff were told on Monday that half of the 180 full time jobs at the organisation are to be made redundant and that others will have to reapply for their roles amid the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A two-week consultation period with staff is now underway, while staff have already taken a 20pect paycut due to the global crisis. 

The report comes a week after NZR announced a $7.4 million financial loss in 2019, and forecast a $120 million decline in revenue for the current financial year.

The national body budgeted for a loss of more than $11.8 million last year, but finished $4.4m better off, thanks to increased broadcasting and merchandise revenue.

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, NZR chief executive Mark Robinson admitted in February that  jobs were on the line as the organisation looked to grow and sustain the game.

On Thursday, NZR unveiled their plan for "Super Rugby Aotearoa" a 10-week competition featuring their five Kiwi franchises.

The teams will play home-and away-matches over 10 rounds, with two matches each weekend. Players will need 3-4 weeks' preparation before games can commence.

"For our fans, our players and everyone involved in Super Rugby, we are thrilled that the Sports Minister has given the green light for professional sport to resume at Level 2," says Robinson.

"As soon as the country announces what date we move to Alert Level 2, we will be able to confirm what date Super Rugby will kick off."