The NRL, along with Queensland Rugby League and New South Wales Rugby League, has today announced the cancellation of a number of state-wide competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the league, the “uncertain and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic made the scheduling of these fixtures untenable in 2020.”
Queensland Rugby League said the unprecedented decision to bring an immediate close to the competitions was made in the best interests of the health and safety of players and staff.
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“We understand the outcome is a heartbreaking one for the rugby league community, but it’s a call that simply had to be made given the current circumstances,” QRL Managing Director Rob Moore said.
“Rugby league is part of the fabric of Queensland, and as such, we have key responsibilities to the wider community as well.”
In Queensland, the affected competitions include the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup.
“These four competitions require a significant level of travel and accommodation across the whole state, both of which pose a risk to the health of our participants and possibly others,” Mr Moore said.
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said the advice has changed dramatically since they made the decision to suspend their competitions nine days ago.
The affected competitions in NSW include the Canterbury Cup NSW, Jersey Flegg Cup (Under 20s), UNE SG Ball Cup (Under 18s), Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s), Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (Under 18s women), UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 16s), Andrew Johns Cup (Under 16s), Women’s Country Championships and Men’s Under 23s Country Championships.
“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,” Mr Trodden said.
Moore congratulated the entire rugby league community for the way it had come together during the public health emergency.
“The game is resilient – and so are our people,” he said.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we’re all in this together.
Nationwide, the Harvey Norman Women’s National Championship, National Schoolboys Championships and all Combined Affiliated States representative football have also been cancelled.