An emergency pay deal for Australia's leading rugby union players has moved a step closer following talks related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rugby Australia was already in financial difficulty having posted losses of $9.4m (€5.2) for 2019, with a sharp drop in revenues now anticipated as a result of the current health crisis.

Pay cuts have already been agreed by RA's executive team and the governing body has been discussing a temporary financial package with the Rugby Union Players Association.

"Talks were positive and robust, with both parties agreeing to continue to move negotiations forward with ongoing discussions scheduled for this week," said a statement issued by RA.

"The players understand that the burden must be shared by everyone in our game and we will look to reach an agreement which is fair and reasonable given the extraordinary circumstances we are in.

"Rugby Australia remains focused on securing a fair and reasonable deal with the players that will help protect the long-term future of our game. We also welcome recent comments by World Rugby as it assists all national unions navigate through this very difficult time."