NSWRL cancels nine competitions for 2020 season
RUGBY LEAGUE: The New South Wales Rugby League last week announced it had immediately cancelled nine major competitions for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clarence Valley rugby league talent was littered among the Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s), Andrew Johns Cup (Under 16s), Women’s Country Championships and Men’s Under 23s Country Championships, however they have all now been cancelled, along with the state’s premier Canterbury Cup NSW competition.
Local senior rugby league competitions are still in limbo, as NSWRL chief executive David Trodden said no decision has yet been made on community football, which involves grassroots player from Under 6s to open age.
Trodden said the NSWRL board had no option but to take this unprecedented action in response to the revised medical advice from government health officials and other experts, along with the various travel bans within Australia and New Zealand.
At the forefront of this decision is the health and wellbeing of the rugby league community, in particular the players, coaches, officials, volunteers and staff, as well as the broader community in general.
“It is devastating for everyone involved but the advice has changed dramatically since we suspended these competitions nine days ago,” Trodden said.
“We have an obligation to be part of the solution for this pandemic, both for the rugby league community and also for the community more generally. This view was uppermost in the minds of the board.
“The likelihood of a shortened season in which to conduct the bigger competitions like Canterbury Cup NSW and Jersey Flegg Cup was also a factor as the narrow window of opportunity to resume and complete the competitions meant it was not viable to go ahead.
“This issue is not as big of a concern for some of our other competitions and community football that can still be conducted over a shortened time frame or as gala days or mini carnivals.”
Trodden said the impact would be felt across the entire rugby league community in the state, including those working in the game.
“We will continue to monitor the situation daily and review the status of our other competitions as circumstances change and updated information becomes available,” he said.
“We are also aware that rugby league can play a role in the healing process of the community so when it is safe to play, we hope to give our players, volunteers, coaches and officials the opportunity to get back to doing what they love, even if it is for a shortened period of time.”