Group 11 clubs to stop training before NSWRL announcement

WAITING GAME: Wellington Cowboys players could find their season on hold if rugby league follows the path of other sports in the state. Photo: Belinda Soole.
WAITING GAME: Wellington Cowboys players could find their season on hold if rugby league follows the path of other sports in the state. Photo: Belinda Soole.

Rugby league clubs in the western area have been advised to stop training and a host of carnivals scheduled for the coming weeks have been cancelled as the game's governing body prepares to decided how to deal with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Announcements have already been made in regards to sports like rugby union, netball, and thoroughbred and greyhound racing, while New South Wales Rugby League will release a statement on Wednesday.

That will relate to all competitions across the state.

Prior to that, clubs have been advised to cancel any upcoming training sessions and trial games in order to protect members of the wider community.

In an email sent from NSWRL to clubs in the Western Rams region, it was also stated a number of upcoming pre-season tournaments have been cancelled.

Those are the following:

  • Eugowra Masters March 21
  • Castlereagh League Carnival March 21
  • Orange Junior Carnival March 29
  • Dubbo District Junior Blues Tag Carnival April 4
  • St Pat's mini/mod carnival April 4
  • Lachlan District Junior Carnival April 5
  • Eglinton mini/mod carnival March 28
  • Woodbridge Cup 10s

It will be assessed if any of these events can be rescheduled.

The current focus for the NSWRL, and most sporting bodies the world over, is on minimising the risk of infection in the community.

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More advice from the federal and state health departments, as well the NRL, will be taken on board in the coming hours and days.

The Group 11 season is currently scheduled to start on the last weekend of April while Group 10's first round is set for earlier in the month, with the first game to be played on April 10, which is Good Friday.

The majority of Group 11 clubs had trials planned for the coming weeks, with Parkes Spacemen's bumper day of matches and mental health awareness event this weekend which originally included the Trundle Boomers and Parkes Boars rugby union sides now in serious doubt.

At a higher level, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has pleaded for fans to be patient about tickets and memberships in the wake of all matches being forced behind closed doors from round two onwards.

"At this stage our competition will continue as planned for round two but with all our stadiums closed, however if the advice changes we'll change with it," he said on Monday.

"We have commissioned a biosecurity expert and that work is well underway and will be communicated back to the ARLC later this week.

"We understand and appreciate the variety of different opinions raised by players, commentators and coaches and we are always listening but it remains our plan to continue to play games in round two this weekend."

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