New Zealand Rugby slashed wages for all staff and warned of up to NZ$100m (€55m) in lost revenue as leading governing bodies scrambled to absorb the blows of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said that in a worst-case scenario the All Blacks - the top-ranked Test team and three-time world champions - and the country's five Super Rugby teams would not play again this year.

He said NZR needed to staunch cash outflows and staff had agreed to a 40% pay cut for the next three months, with talks underway with players.

"It's an incredibly challenging time, we have fantastic rugby people all around the country at the moment dealing with difficult financial circumstances," Robinson said.

The southern hemisphere's Super Rugby season has been suspended and July internationals are also in doubt after the coronavirus prompted tough containment measures and curbed international travel.

The annual Rugby Championship, featuring New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina, is scheduled to start in August.

Robinson said he had been in contact with the global governing body World Rugby about the prospect of NZR receiving financial support.

"They're going through a process of gathering as much information as they can, once they digest that I'd imagine they'll come back to us with some ideas," he said.

NZR said it had made emergency grants of NZ$250,000 to each of New Zealand's Super Rugby clubs to tide them over for the next three months.

"These decisions are about protecting the core capability of the Super Rugby clubs so that they are ready to hit the ground running if Super Rugby resumes later this year," he said.

Rugby Australia has opened talks with their players' union to strike a deal over a three-month wage deferral.

Chief executive Raelene Castle confirmed discussions with the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) are under way regarding a short term pay deal to assist the code through the pandemic.

Castle said: "Yesterday, we commenced formal discussions with RUPA with a genuine desire to find a fair and reasonable solution on a short term pay deal with the players for the three-month period from now until 30 June.

"We believe the information we have shared, including information on future cash projections, provides the players with enough information to develop a position."

Yesterday, Rugby Australia put 75% of its staff on unpaid leave, in what Castle called "the toughest decision in the game's history".

The IRFU are to defer a portion of the wages of staff and players as a response to the halt of all rugby activity on the island of Ireland.

The IRFU hope to return to full wages and also pay staff any deferrals "as soon as possible".

According to the Union, the deferrals will be based on an 'equitable sliding scale' which ranges from 10% – 50%,and  will remain "subject to constant review of the financial circumstances of the IRFU and Provinces".

Scotland announced a 25% salary deferral for their coach, Gregor Townsend, and Wales's Wayne Pivac reduced his wages by the same figure.

Townsend's deferral, covering 1 April to 1 September, will also apply to Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill and Glasgow counterpart Dave Rennie, as well as Scottish Rugby Union performance director Jim Mallinder.

Rennie, however, is set to leave in June to become the coach of Australia.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson, one of the highest paid administrators in the game, will have a salary deferral of 30% from 1 April to 1 September.

Just hours after the Scottish announcement, Pivac and Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips said they would take 25% salary reductions from today.

The WRU had already cancelled all league and cup competitions in Wales for the rest of the season, and later on Tuesday the SRU announced its 2019/20 domestic season had been annulled. 

Last week, England's Eddie Jones - the highest paid coach in international rugby - and other top officials took a 25% pay cut for up to three months.