Here are your rugby morning headlines for Wednesday April 8.
RUGBY FACING A HUGE WAKE-UP CALL
A leading club boss reckons the financial crisis gripping rugby could actually rescue the sport.
Mick Crossan, owner of Gallagher Premiership side London Irish, reckons it is a wake-up call for some of the vast sums being paid to players and their agents.
He maintains teams cannot continue to expect swathes of money to be poured in by rich benefactors and reckons the game is at a crossroads.
Crossan, who has bankrolled the Exiles since 2013, feels people need to 'cut their cloth' once everyone gets back to playing again.
His London Irish players have taken a 25 per cent pay cut and backroom staff put on furlough.
"Last season cost me £4million and I can’t afford that,” Crossan told the Mirror..
“Club rugby has to change. We can’t keep relying on rich benefactors. It’s definitely not a sustainable business. Everyone’s affected.
“This crisis may actually help club rugby, in the respect that everyone will hopefully now cut their cloth to suit their pockets.
“I honestly think it will do club rugby good by bringing common sense back to the clubs and the finances of what players are being offered.
"Hopefully it will give a kick in the arse to some of the agents as well.”
RYAN FRUSTRATED OVER MORIARTY PROCESS
Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan, who has lost Cory Hill to Cardiff Blues, has spoken to the 'relevant bodies' following the drawn out Ross Moriarty saga.
The Wales back-rower gave the Rodney Parade side a huge boost by signing a new deal, but it was a battle to keep him at the Gwent region.
Moriarty was wanted by other teams and had to win a wage appeal with the Welsh Rugby Union.
Ryan believes the system needs improving, saying: "I think everybody needs to learn from this. We can all work together to make this a simpler process and ultimately avoid the delays we've had.
"I don't think it will be particularly helpful to just air my views. We've made points to the relevant bodies and we would hope those points are considered and factored into how things move forward."
On Hill's departure to rivals Cardiff Blues, which the Dragons have asked the WRU to probe, Ryan said: "Players make choices at whatever stage in their career. I can only wish Cory well."
WALES STARS AGAINST PAY CUTS
A letter leaked to Wales Online shows Welsh rugby players are demanding they should not be hit by any loss of pay because of the coronavirus lockdown.
The letter is written on behalf of his members by Welsh Rugby Players Association chief executive Barry Cawte and was sent to WRU boss Martyn Phillips.
It outlines what Cawte calls "the most appropriate and efficient solution to help aid the financial uncertainty currently being faced.”
He calls for a deferral of 25% of monthly gross basic salaries for the next five months (April to August 2020) for the players, but maintains those sums must be "paid to players unconditionally and in full" by next April.
There are further proposals in the letter. These include deferred monies being paid immediately should a player's contract end, or he decides not to renew a current deal.
The WRU fund 80 per cent of the salaries of the top 38 players in Wales, with the rest topped up by the regions.
Other players are paid entirely by the regions.
The coronavirus crisis is creating a significant loss of revenue generated through tickets, other matchday income and other events at the Principality Stadium. As such Wales coach Wayne Pivac and WRU chief executive Phillips have each taken a 25% pay cut.
The WRU remain hopeful of resolving the matter amicably. The Professional Rugby Board say: "Comprehensive and constructive negotiations are ongoing."
You can read the exclusive story by our chief reporter Martin Shipton here.
MARINOS COY ON BIG PLANS FOR NEW WORLD CLUB CUP
Former Wales star turned administrator Andy Marinos has given a coy reaction to plans for the proposed World Club Cup, which would see teams from the top leagues battle against one another.
Marinos was capped eight times by Wales under Graham Henry and became Dragons chief executive, before returning to South Africa where he holds down a role as boss of SANZAAR.
Asked for the southern hemisphere view on the plans put forward by French Federation President Bernard Laporte, Marinos said: "From time to time, the idea is raised. It is not appropriate to comment on such conjecture at this time.
“At present, World Rugby, SANZAAR and its stakeholder nations are concentrating on getting rugby to a position where we can start playing competitive rugby once government restrictions in the respective territories permit this to happen. That is the first priority.”
The World Club Cup proposals could spell the end for the prestigious Heineken Champions Cup if they come off.