The board of USA Rugby has voted to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result of “insurmountable financial constraints” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The governing body suspended sanctioned competition and rugby activities indefinitely on 20 March due to the global pandemic.

USA Rugby will undergo a restructuring process with input from World Rugby, while the country’s men’s and women’s senior national teams will continue to compete as normal when rugby returns. The governing body described the decision as the best way to “deliver a foundation for future stability”.

USA Rugby’s chair, Barbara O’Brien, said in a statement: “This is the most challenging period this organisation has faced and all resolves were never taken lightly in coming to this determination. “While the current climate is of course much larger than rugby, we remain focused with stakeholders and supporters in the continued effort toward a balanced rugby community where the game can truly grow.”

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the US, and both the women’s and men’s teams had qualified for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo. The Games have now been postponed until 2021 because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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