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NRL More Likely To Move To NSW Than Queensland

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ustralian Rugby League Commission chairman, Peter V’landys, has said the NRL would be more likely to move Queensland-based clubs to New South Wales (NSW) if further border restrictions were enforced.

This comes after the AFL announced it was relocating all Victorian-based clubs to Queensland to complete its 2020 season, following a second, major spike in COVID-19 infection rate through Victoria and NSW.

On Triple M’s ‘Rush Hour’, V’landys said the NRL has reverted back to the Apollo biosecurity restrictions it had in place when the competition first resumed on May 28, meaning all players and staff of each club outside of Queensland will be not allowed to visit cafes, restaurants, pubs, beaches or golf courses.

“It’s highly unlikely [the NRL moves completely to Queensland], but we’ve got to look at every scenario and one scenario is that while Queensland is completely COVID free, it may be an opportunity to go up there,” V’landys said.

“But it’s nowhere near that stage, and we’re very confident that the New South Wales Government will take all the necessary actions here in New South Wales.

“It’s just ensuring that we can actually continue to go to Queensland, play our games and come back again, so that’s the concern we have, and we might have to bring the Queensland teams into New South Wales or vice-versa.

“But it’s more likely that if we were restricted on the border, we would probably bring the Queensland teams into New South Wales to start with.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen, because the infection rate is nowhere near the height that it was when the premier kindly gave us permission to play in Queensland.

“And that’s why we’ve reintroduced the biosecurity measures because that’s what the Queensland Government approved us playing in Queensland [for], by having these measures in place.

“We put them back to minimise any risk to the Queensland Government and so they can continue to travel to and from Queensland,” he said, discussing the tightened restrictions that were reinforced for NRL players and staff, including a limit on how many visitors they can have to their homes.

Asked about the increase in COVID-19 cases in NSW over recent weeks, alongside the spike in Victoria, V’landys said he is worried but confident the NRL season will end without issues.

“We’re certainly worried, you can’t be complacent, and that’s why we put the measures back in place,” V’landys said.

“There’s a level of uncertainty in New South Wales, but I’m still confident that we’ll get through the competition and the finals and the State of Origin, but we’ve just got to be cautious we’ve just got to make sure that we’re doing everything right.

“[If] the players abide by the biosecurity measures and minimise the risk, and if everyone plays their part, I’m very confident that we will see the season out without any problems.

“Our biosecurity expert says that if they abide by these biosecurity measures the risk of them catching the virus is 1000 to one which is next to nil.

“So that’s important for us, is that we do maintain the health of our players and the community to make sure that the Queensland Government is confident in our measures to allow us to go to Queensland,” he said.