We could be seeing the Grafton Ghosts and the South Grafton Rebels in all age groups (including the U10's) back in action sooner than we thought.
We could be seeing the Grafton Ghosts and the South Grafton Rebels in all age groups (including the U10's) back in action sooner than we thought.

NSW Rugby League announces return date for community footy

RUGBY LEAGUE :The New South Wales Rugby League board has established a plan to work towards a restart of rugby league activities from July 2020.

The move is set to coincide with a common return date for some other winter sports across the state and the commencement of term three in the school year.

NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said the decision to work towards a shortened community rugby league season and a restart of other abbreviated senior competitions from July 18 would be further reviewed and confirmed on June 1, subject to the existing government advice available at the time.

Trodden said yesterday’s decision took into consideration the NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020, which was currently preventing sport from being conducted and expires at midnight on June 29 (unless further extended).

“Accordingly, the earliest possible return date is June 30, unless the NSW Government decides to lift the Public Health order earlier,” Trodden said.

“Most winter sports favour working towards a return date of July 18, at the end of the next school holiday period, with a return to training on July 1, subject to the status of the public health in the interim.

“The Board and Management of NSWRL have been continuing to closely monitor developments with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to strictly follow the Government advice so that we will only return to playing footy when it is deemed safe to do so.

“The NSWRL and everyone in our rugby league community need to be responsive to the continual changes to the Government advice around risks to public health for the broader community, and if it becomes apparent that a July start date is not feasible, we will adjust and reassess.”

The decision to work towards starting rugby league competitions from July 18, and to resume training from July 1, applies to community football, including the Toohey’s New Group 2, Northern River Regional Rugby League and Group 1 junior rugby league competitions based around the Clarence Valley region.

The 2020 season was originally due to commence April 4 when it was postponed in March. All clubs and leagues are encouraged to continue to take registrations beyond the traditional June 30 registration cut-off date.

In relation to the nine competitions cancelled by the NSWRL Board on March 27, the board has determined that no premiers and no player of the series awards will be declared for Canterbury Cup and under-23 Country Championship competitions.

This leaves North Coast Bulldogs and Northern Rivers Titans unable to finish their representative seasons.

Junior representatives playing in SG Ball, Harold Matthews, Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup competitions will also be left to focus on club football when the season is set to resume.

This could deprive a number of our budding young stars of any current opportunity to further their development, but they will be sure to bounce back in 2021.

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