ACT Brumbies chairman Matthew Nobbs has thrown his support behind new Rugby Australia leader Hamish McLennan, adamant he can drive innovation and change to save the struggling code.
Rugby is the only major winter code yet to detail its plans for a post-coronavirus revival, with officials still trying to finalise a domestic competition structure and draw for an early July start.
The Brumbies have approached Canberra Stadium about using the venue without crowds for matches against Australian opponents, with a potential trans-Tasman finals series to follow after Health Minister Greg Hunt flagged an easing of travel restrictions on Thursday.
But rugby's problems extend well beyond the make-up of an Australian competition or venues for this year, with the game on the brink of financial ruin if a new television deal for 2021 and beyond cannot be signed.
The Brumbies are feeling the financial pinch of lost crowd revenue, merchandise sales and memberships, with the club bracing for a significant hit at the end of the year.
McLennan has taken the Rugby Australia chairman reins at one of the toughest times in rugby's history, but Nobbs pointed to his Big Bash cricket innovation when with Channel 10 as a sign of a brighter future.
Some of the ideas already being floated include a State of Origin series to rival the NRL's showpiece by offering something new to rugby fans.
McLennan reached out to Super Rugby chairmen last week before he officially stepped into his new role, giving Nobbs confidence there will be collaboration and vision for a rugby revival.
"Hamish is innovative, we've seen what he did with the Big Bash. He created a product that was liked by cricket lovers, families, women, children ... that's where we want to take rugby," Nobbs said. "We don't want to get caught up in the politics of it all and bogged down in it, rather just keep that innovative flavour to Hamish's thinking and pushing through with that.
"The beauty of it now is that it's a complete reset. We can do whatever we want really. You can suggest change, you can make change ... we've just got to get on the right path."
Rugby has been plagued by off-field drama for the past six months. Chief executive Raelene Castle quit in the wake of constant criticism, Peter Wiggs quit the board before he had a chance to change the game and three Queensland Reds players created more unwanted news when they refused to agree to take pay cuts.
McLennan, a former television and media executive, is seen as the powerful voice who can help shape the game's next iteration, whether it be in Super Rugby, a domestic competition or a trans-Tasman season.
"I was impressed that he reached out to us. He sees the unions as playing important roles," Nobbs said.
"I think there will be a far better level of communication and transparency ... from an ACT rugby point of view we're fully behind Hamish and his board.
"There is proven business record among the new directors. They know what it takes ... we probably can't go any lower, but they can grow the product. And Hamish can see the value in the Wallabies brand."
The Brumbies were the leading light in Australian rugby before the season was stopped in March, winning five of six games and playing an attractive brand of rugby.
The Brumbies have always been known as Super Rugby innovators, setting the tone for the standard of play since the inception of the competition in 1996.
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They drifted away from their attacking rugby roots over the past decade, but started to recapture their former glory under Dan McKellar's guidance and Nobbs said the entire club was ready to evolve to suit McLennan's vision.
"That's what the Brumbies have always been about - being innovative. Trying to buck the trend," Nobbs said.
All Australian franchises are under financial strain, but a $14 million loan from World Rugby will help ease some of the short-term concerns.
The Brumbies are still investigating private equity options as an extra source of revenue to secure the club's long-term viability.
Rugby Australia officials are expected to make an announcement on an interim domestic competition within two weeks. It's unlikely the Japan Sunwolves will be a part of it, but the Western Force are set to return to the fold.