The National Rugby League (NRL), in partnership with State governing bodies, has postponed community rugby league in Australia until at least the first weekend of May.
The postponement includes all junior and senior community club rugby league competitions, training, gala days and future League Stars programs.
NRL Head of Football – Participation, Pathways and Game Development, Luke Ellis said the decision to suspend community club rugby league immediately was made after consultation with the State governing bodies to assist in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“Community rugby league will be postponed until at least the first weekend of May, that includes playing games and training,’’ he said.
“The decision to pause community rugby League in Australia was not taken lightly and is simply about the NRL and State governing bodies, as custodians of rugby league, putting extra-conservative measures in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellbeing of our participants,” Ellis said.
“Community rugby league doesn’t have the ability to enforce the same social distancing procedures as the elite game. That’s why, in partnership with our state bodies, we have chosen to err on the side of caution.”
The NRL will continue to meet with state governing bodies in relation to community rugby league and will review today’s announcement based on government health departments and experts.
Mr Ellis added the NRL and state leagues remained committed to growing community rugby league participation and would keep all participants informed of future developments.
“Community rugby league is the foundation of our game. We are committed to seeing it flourish. I understand some participants will be disappointed with the decision, but community health must come first.”
“We look forward to our community rugby league participants returning to the game as soon as expert advice deems it appropriate.”