The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) and New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) have announced the cancellation of all state-wide competitions and national representative programs in 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
This decision means the Intrust Super Cup, Canterbury Cup, BHB Premiership and others which were all currently suspended under government and health professional advice, will not be resumed for the 2020 season.
QRL managing director, Rob Moore, said the decision is aimed at supporting the long-term health and safety of players and staff, as well as the longevity of QRL competitions.
“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 circumstanced,” Moore said.
“Rugby league is part of the fabric of Queensland, and as such, we have key responsibilities to the wider community as well.
“These four competitions require a significant level of travel and accommodation across the whole state, both of which pose a risk to the health of our participants and possibly others.
“By making this announcement now, it provides our clubs with the opportunity to reset and turn their attention towards the 2021 season.
“It also gives the clubs some much-needed breathing space to concentrate on important off-field matter.
“Financial sustainability is crucial for all clubs moving forward, and we’ll continue to work closely with each of them during this challenging period,” he said.
NRL head of football for participation, pathways and game development, Luke Ellis, said the decision to cancel competitions were made in the best interest of health and safety for everyone involved.
“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,” 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,” he said.
This decision to cancel the remainder of each competition comes after they were all suspended after the closure of the opening round, alongside the NRL, which currently still insists its season is suspended.