The first season of Global Rapid Rugby has officially been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The international competition, which involves Australian side the Western Force, was first suspended on March 15 as travel restrictions were introduced.
With international travel effectively banned in many areas of the Rapid Rugby competition, the tournament simply would not be able to get back up and running any time soon.
The Force's home base of Western Australia has closed its borders to non-residents of the state as well, making it near impossible for anyone to enter.
Rapid Rugby CEO Mark Evans said in a statement that there was no other option than to cancel the season.
“All of our decisions around Global Rapid Rugby in 2020 have been based on expert health advice; there are global realities and challenges that cannot and should not be ignored or worked around,” Evans explained.
“We have never been scared of hard work or seemingly impossible challenges, but in the current circumstances feel that our hand has been forced to upgrade our previous season one suspension to a complete cancellation.
"We will continue to work closely with all teams and stakeholders around potential future plans.
“The work that went into the formation of the 2020 home-and-away season was first-class. We showed in the one round that we were able to play, what an exciting game we have created. The
immediate future may be full of uncertainty, but the bigger picture is full of exciting opportunities for rugby in the Asia Pacific region.
“I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank everyone involved in what was to be the first full season of Global Rapid Rugby. Hong Kong Rugby Union, China Rugby Football Association, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union, Rugby Australia, Fiji Rugby, Samoa Rugby Union, Malaysia Rugby Union, Valke Rugby Union and of course Rapid Rugby’s founders Andrew and Nicola Forrest."
One round of the competition had been played with the Western Force making a big statement in their first round clash in Perth.
News of the cancellation makes Global Rapid Rugby the first competition involving a professional team in Australia to be cancelled, with Super Rugby indefinitely suspended.