Wallabies trial match on the cards
Rugby Australia is discussing a "Possibles vs Probables" Wallabies series later this year in a bid to inject much needed cash into the game, as players will be asked to take pay cuts on Friday.
Leading Wallabies and Super Rugby players will be urged to take pay cuts for the next two months in a bid to stem huge losses amid the coronavirus crisis.
RA will meet with the Rugby Union Players' Association on Friday to come to terms on cost-saving measures designed to save the game, however the players will want to see other cuts made across the organisation before they agree to slashed wages.
Like every other sport, rugby is bleeding money as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy, shutting down live events and therefore shutting down income from broadcasters and ticket sales.
RA is in particular strife because they also have not sewn up a broadcast deal beyond this year.
It's hoped the stopgap measure of pay cuts will allow the game to survive the worst of the virus, before matches can resume and money begins flowing again.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that one of the more exciting options now being discussed is a "Possibles vs Probables" Wallabies series, which would herald the introduction of new Australian coach Dave Rennie to the local fans.
This series, potentially played over three games, would come after the proposed eight-week domestic tournament proposed by RA that is on hold until at least the start of May.
That start date is highly unlikely due to the rapid spread of the virus through Australia and increasingly tough restriction measures imposed by the government.
But RA is hoping to get the tournament off the ground as soon as restrictions ease.
That five-team tournament, involving the Western Force and four Super teams, would eventuate with a grand final.
If travel restrictions are still in place at that point and Australia could not host international teams, they'll look to play the "Possibles vs Probables" match that has been successfully used in New Zealand over the years as trials for All Blacks selection.
It would also introduce Rennie's thinking of players to the Australian rugby public.
While the Glasgow coach's first official task is the July Test series against Ireland, that is unlikely to take place given the travel bans and health concerns in place in both nations.
Rennie has said form will trump reputation in his selection of the national team, but it appears he'll have to pick it from a cobbled-together domestic tournament, if that is allowed to proceed.
The great fear is that the virus will force long-lasting restrictions that prevent any internationals being played in Australia this year; a financially catastrophic prospect for a code desperately fighting for survival.
Originally published as Wallabies trial match on the cards