The National Rugby League (NRL), along with New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), Queensland Rugby League (QRL) and the Affiliated States, has announced the cancellation of a number of male and female competitions, tournaments and national representative programs.
The uncertain and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic made the scheduling of these fixtures untenable in 2020.
NRL Head of Football – Participation, Pathways and Game Development Luke Ellis said the decision was unfortunate but necessary under the circumstances.
“I know this will be a disappointing outcome for those involved in these competitions right across Australia, but the health and safety of those involved with rugby league must always come first,” Mr Ellis said.
“It was essential for us to at least give the players, clubs and staff some certainty going forward so they can focus on themselves and their families during this uncertain time.”
NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said: “It is devastating for everyone involved but the advice has changed dramatically since we suspended these competitions nine days ago.”
“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.”
QRL Managing Director Rob Moore said: “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.”
“Rugby league is part of the fabric of Queensland, and as such, we have key responsibilities to the wider community as well.
The cancelled competitions include:
National: Harvey Norman Women’s National Championship; National Schoolboys Championships; all Combined Affiliated States representative football
Queensland Rugby League: Intrust Super Cup; BHP Premiership; Hastings Deering Colts; Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup
New South Wales Rugby League: 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.
No final decision has been made on community rugby league as yet, as well as the Ron Massey Cup, Sydney Shield and the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership.
The NRL and States would like to acknowledge the support and understanding from the Clubs, players and staff, as well as the respective corporate and broadcast partners for each of the affected competitions during this unprecedented time.