IRL COVID-19 Response
15th March 2020
The Board of International Rugby League (IRL) would like to update the membership and rugby league media on the position of the international federation with regard to the current and on-going COVID- 19 virus situation. The Board advises and supports all members to follow the advice of their national governments and for all players, coaches and officials to follow the advice issued to protect against the spread of the infection. IRL chief executive officer, Nigel Wood said; “These are complex and unprecedented circumstances and we are monitoring the situation to ensure that we support the collective response to this crisis. “We are not making any decisions about our international competitions at this stage however, we are considering all the options in case we need to make changes later in the year.”
APRLC Pacific Tests Posponed due to COVID-19
19th March 2020
The Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation decided at an emergency board meeting on Thursday that there was too much uncertainy caused by the impact of current and fast-changing restrictions on sport, travel and public gatherings to continue with the June 20 Tests. New Zealand had been scheduled to host Tonga, with Samoa and Cook Islands to play in a double-header during the NRL's stand-alone representative weekend. The APRL board believed that the postponement of the mid-season Oceania Cup matches may assist the NRL by freeing up the June representative round weekend should they require extra flexibility in scheduling. Plans are being considered to play Tests in October-November, with Oceania Cup fixtures involving New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea already scheduled. "There are still a lot of moving parts, but this is the prudent way to go, and the best option to ensure all nations due to participate in Oceania Cup can play at least one international this year," APRLC chair Sandis Tsaka said. In addition, Australia is scheduled to host the Kiwis on October 17, while the ARLC is considering the viability of the end-of-season Kangaroo tour. IRL southern hemisphere general manager Jeremy Edwards said: "We are grateful to the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) for their ongoing support of Oceania Cup, and for acknowledging the importance of these fixtures for a large contingent of the playing group,"
APRLC Oceania Cup 2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19
4th September 2020
The Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) has made the difficult decision to cancel Oceania Cup 2020 due to the multiple restrictions posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on international travel, mass gatherings, and sporting event biosecurity. APRLC has spent the past six months exploring fixture options for 2020 in an ever-changing COVID-19 environment. After being forced in March to postpone Oceania Cup men's and women's fixtures scheduled for June, planning continued for fixtures during the end-of-season international window. However, ongoing restrictions and complexities about player travel, as well as continued limits on crowds attending matches have made it impossible to deliver this year's event, which would have featured fixtures for six men's teams (Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga) and four women's teams (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Samoa). APRLC Chairman, Sandis Tsaka, said: "The Oceania Cup is a wonderful tournament that offers a meaningful structure for Pacific test matches in a fair and competitive environment. It is extremely disappointing to have been forced to cancel the 2020 tournament, as there was great excitement among our member nations about this year's fixtures in both June and November, but unfortunately current restrictions and uncertainties have made it impossible to follow any other path".
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