QRL working towards a local league season
RUGBY LEAGUE: The QRL is planning for local rugby league competitions to go ahead in 2020.
Concern had been expressed throughout the rugby league community that junior and local competitions would be included with the four statewide QRL competitions that were cancelled on Friday.
The Queensland Rugby League board confirmed the cancellation of its four statewide competitions for 2020 due to the ongoing public health emergency.
The unprecedented decision to bring an immediate close to the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competitions was made in the interests of the health and safety of players and staff.
QRL managing director Rob Moore acknowledged the enormity of the decision, which came after the initial move to suspend the competitions after Round 1 earlier this month.
"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," Moore said.
"Rugby league is part of the fabric of Queensland, and as such, we have key responsibilities to the wider community as well," QRL Central Queensland division manager Rob Crow said.
"We are meeting on Monday to discuss our community competitions and pushing back our May 2 restart date."
Crow is confident that there will be a season sometime during 2020.
"Our focus is getting community rugby league competitions and players back on the park," he said.
He said it was uncertain what the competitions may look like.
"We are going to do whatever is required to get people back playing rugby league," he said.
Moore outlined the reasoning for cancelling the major competitions.
"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."
Moore said there was some light at the end of the tunnel.
"By making this announcement now, it provides our clubs with the opportunity to reset and turn their attention towards the 2021 season," Moore said.
"It also gives the clubs some much-needed breathing space to concentrate on important off-field matters.
"Financial sustainability is crucial for all clubs moving forward, and we'll continue to work closely with each of them during this challenging period."
Moore congratulated the league community for the way it had come together during the public health emergency.
"The game is resilient - and so are our people," Moore said.
"It's not going to be easy, but we're all in this together.