Today, Rugby Americas Chief Executive Officer Dan Payne announced that the 2020 Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) and Americas Rugby Challenge (ARCh) – senior and under-20 – competitions will not take place this year in their current format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been monitoring the status of each country closely and it has become very obvious this is in the best interest of players, staff and overall public welfare,” said Payne.
“World Rugby, CEOs of the Americas’ unions and other key stakeholders have been evaluating a very fluid and evolving global environment while continuing to explore all solutions for the region. We want to leave the door open, regardless how small, for the possibility of some regional competition later in Q4 instead of cancelling altogether,” he added.
The global game of rugby has been on hold since early March when the pandemic began, and, with borders still closed and many nations still under lockdown with unclear lines of sight moving forward, the 2020 summer international competitions cannot be played in their current format.
“Each member country is at a different stage of the fight against COVID-19. There’s a shared, common goal of safely and efficiently getting back onto the field when it’s safe for players, staff and fans,” said Payne.
Since their inception in 2016, the ARC and ARCh have been vital to the growth and development of rugby across the Americas, with four nations qualifying for last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“It’s imperative unions are able to establish their domestic competitions before we can explore the possibility of international fixtures later this year,” said Payne.
About Rugby Americas
Rugby Americas is dedicated to increasing the awareness and participation of the sport of rugby through cross regional – North and South America – competitions at the under-20 level and above.
The organisation, which is led by Chief Executive Officer Dan Payne and funded through World Rugby, works directly with Sudamérica Rugby and Rugby Americas North and supports growth through North and South American training and education workshops and camps, Americas combines, player and administrator identification and development, professional game support and medical super weeks.
The Americas Rugby Championship, which features national teams of Canada, USA, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile, along with Argentina XV, was created in 2016 as an opportunity to provide the Americas countries with an annual high-level competition to further development. The competition, which is entering its fifth year in 2020, has proved invaluable for reaching new audiences across owned and earned media channels and provided significant test match opportunities for Canada, USA, Uruguay and Argentina ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The next tier of competition, the Americas Rugby Challenge, was also created in 2018 and has seen the likes of Colombia, Paraguay, Mexico, Guyana and Cayman Islands compete in two round-robin style competitions as a way to underpin the growth in the region, along with the under-20 version as well.