NRL and States cancel competitions and Representative programs

27th March 2020

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:

  • Harvey Norman Women’s National Championship
  • National Schoolboys Championships
  • Combined Affiliated States representative football
  • QRL Intrust Super Cup
  • QRL U20 Hastings Deering Colts
  • QRL U18 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup
  • QRL Womens BHP Premiership
  • NSWRL Canterbury Cup NSW
  • NSWRL U20 Jersey Flegg Cup
  • NSWRL U18 UNE SG Ball Cup
  • NSWRL U16 UNE Harold Matthews Cup
  • NSWRL Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (Under 18s women)
  • NSWRL Laurie Daley Cup (Country Under 18s)
  • NSWRL Andrew Johns Cup (Country Under 16s)
  • NSWRL Women’s Country Championships
  • NSWRL Men’s Under 23s Country Championships.

    No final decision has been made on community rugby league as yet, as well as the NSWRL 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.

    NSWRL Cancels 9 Competitions for 2020 season

    27th March 2020

    The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) has today announced the NSWRL Board has made the difficult decision to immediately cancel nine major competitions for 2020, including the state’s premier Canterbury Cup NSW in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSWRL has also cancelled: 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. The 12 teams in the Canterbury Cup NSW competition are all affiliated with NRL clubs. It includes the Warriors who had already agreed with the decision by NSWRL last week not to participate further when the competition was initially suspended to 31 May. The Jersey Flegg Cup involves 13 teams, including the Victoria Thunderbolts and NRL affiliates. No final decision has been made as yet on the following competitions: Ron Massey Cup, Sydney Shield and the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership as well as community football, which involves grassroots player from Under 6s to open age. NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said the 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," said Trodden. "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 timeframe 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. It is, of course, the same impact as is being experienced in every industry on a global scale. "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."

    Warriors and Roosters withdraw from NRLW Competition

    29th March 2020

    The future of the NRLW competition is in serious doubt after two of the four competing clubs pulled the pin on their respective seasons. Club sources say the team costs about $500,000 to run every year and provides almost no revenue, leaving it susceptible to cuts as the game fights for survival. The Roosters have told the NRL they will not take part in this year's elite women's competition as part of cost-cutting measures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The Warriors have told League Central they will not take part in the upcoming season if it does go ahead in September. The revelation is a major blow for the women's game, which has grown in leaps and bounds in the last two years. It's unclear whether women's State of Origin will proceed. The blow to the elite level of women's rugby league comes just days after the National Championships were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The six-day tournament in May is typically the best chance for NRLW clubs to pluck emerging talent to feature in the premiership later in the year. NSW Women's State of Origin coach Andrew Patmore told last week he was concerned for the future of NRLW. "We're all very realistic about it and understanding how the business works," Patmore said. "With the NRLW, the clubs fund a lot of that. I've got concerns over that. The commercial side runs our game and pays our bills."

    NSWRL Revised 2020 Contract Guidelines

    6th April 2020

    With regards contracts and portability the NSWRL have issued the following guidelines :

  • New Contracts
    At this point any new contracts will not be accepted or processed by NSWRL until further notice. We need to develop a plan and determine if and when competitions will restart.

  • Current Contracts
    Any current contracted player wishing to transfer to another club can only do so by signing and submitting a termination, players will not be permitted to move clubs unless a valid termination is received and accepted by NSWRL. Any player or club wishing to terminate a contract must do so by using the following “Deed of Termination Release” document.

  • Contract Variations
    Where a club wishes to vary a multiyear deal, a contract variation needs to be completed, and submitted via the same process as the termination. Where a player is under a current contract, even though this may be under variation, if the competitions they were signed to play in are cancelled and there is no affiliation with another club (i.e. Ron Massey Cup or Sydney Shield) that player will not be able to play for another club in Major and Pathway Competitions unless a termination is received.

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