Start of local rugby league season delayed by coronavirus
RUGBY LEAGUE: Footy fans will have to wait a little longer before they can get their fix of league action, with NSWRL announcing this week that all 2020 Community Rugby League competitions and activities have been postponed until at least May 1, effective immediately, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said the recommendation covers all rugby league matches, trials, training, courses and other club activities and was made with the health and wellbeing of players, coaches, staff, officials and volunteers and the broader community as a paramount consideration.
A special meeting of the NSWRL Board made the decision in partnership with the National Rugby League and all affiliated states, and after carefully considering the advice from widespread consultation with NRL chief medical officer Dr Paul Bloomfield, government agencies and other key stakeholders to assist in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The majority of Community Rugby League competitions, which involve more than 100,000 grassroots players across NSW, from Under 6s to open age, were due to kick-off on April 4.
In addition, the NSWRL Board has suspended to May 31 the organisation's 13 major competitions, most of which started last weekend, with the exception of junior representative competitions which kicked off in February.
The delayed return allows teams to train and prepare earlier in May if Community Rugby League is cleared to resume.
These competitions include: Canterbury Cup NSW, Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership, Jersey Flegg Cup, Ron Massey Cup, Newcastle Business Plaza Cup, Sydney Shield, UNE SG Ball Cup, Laurie Daley Cup, Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup, UNE Harold Matthews Cup, Andrew Johns Cup, Women's Country Championships and Men's Under 23 Country Championships.
"At the moment all competitions have been suspended but we haven't decided anything beyond that," Trodden said.