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,"

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