UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Grafton Redmen president Guy Robertson has reservations about entering a side in the Far North Coast Rugby Zone this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Grafton Redmen president Guy Robertson has reservations about entering a side in the Far North Coast Rugby Zone this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Big decision for Redmen on eve of FNC season

RUGBY UNION :With Far North Coast rugby still on a hiatus for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Grafton Redmen president Guy Robertson has reservations about the competition being given the green light.

As a player and administrator, Robertson admits he would love nothing better than running out for the Redmen this season but added the current implications surrounding the coronavirus has prompted plenty of unanswered questions.

“There are just too many unknowns at this stage and I suppose the big question is, can the zone provide a safe environment not only for the players but volunteers and spectators,” Robertson said during the week.

“It’s a case of risk versus reward, and at this stage risk potentially outweighs reward.”

So, what are the implications to consider if the zone decides to go ahead with a hybrid competition, and what guidelines have been set in place to ensure the safety of players and the rugby community?

TRUNCATED SEASON

The zone has already advised that the season will consist of one round.

At this stage Far North Coast rugby is aiming for a seven-team competition depending on the decision of clubs to enter a side.

RETURN TO TRAINING

Coaches are required to ensure training activities comply with public health authority guidelines.

Players have indicated they have concerns a limited training schedule (set down for early July) could see an increase in injuries and highlighted contested scrums as a potential danger.

COMMUNITY THREAT

Local sport including rugby could potentially impact others in the community.

What hygiene measures will be put in place for players, coaching staff, administrators and volunteers to ensure the local community is protected from a potential outbreak of the virus?

SPONSORSHIPS

Will current sponsors get bang for their buck?

If crowd numbers are limited or non-existent, sponsors advertising their product will be affected.

SIMPLY THE BEST: Grafton Redmen back-rower Ed McGrath was been named the Far North Coast Zone's Best and Fairest player for 2019.
SIMPLY THE BEST: Grafton Redmen back-rower Ed McGrath was been named the Far North Coast Zone's Best and Fairest player for 2019.

MONEY TALKS

If guidelines were put in place by the State Government and Rugby Australia banning canteen and bar sales it would not be cost effective for clubs.

They still have to pay for lights, game day expenses and player registrations fees and insurance.

IN THE ZONE

Upper and Lower Mid North Coast have announced their competitions will start in mid-July.

New England is also set to return to the field on July 18, however Central North Rugby has decided to abandon the 2020 season.

IN A NUTSHELL

A lot will depend on directives from NSW Health and Rugby Australia. Local Council ground restrictions could also apply. Ensuring players, administrators and the community are not at risk will be paramount.

Grafton has provided a response to Far North Coast rugby with a decision on the likelihood of a competition being handed down in the next few weeks.



July racing carnival to get a crowd as restrictions ease

premium_icon July racing carnival to get a crowd as restrictions ease

Members only, and there’s still a limit on patrons, but you’ll be a guaranteed a...

IN COURT: 44 people appearing in Grafton court today

premium_icon IN COURT: 44 people appearing in Grafton court today

Here's a list of everyone appearing in Grafton court today, July 6

TRAFFIC ALERT: Changed conditions for school holidays

premium_icon TRAFFIC ALERT: Changed conditions for school holidays

Motorists are advised of changed traffic conditions and night work on the Pacific...