Nicholas Tanner attempts a conversion for Western Suburbs. The club wants to play this year.
Nicholas Tanner attempts a conversion for Western Suburbs. The club wants to play this year.

The one thing that will stop the BRL from playing

LEAGUE: The Bundaberg Rugby League and Northern Districts Rugby League admit it will be hard to play this year if patrons aren't allowed to attend matches.

The road to playing rugby league is starting to become clearer with the Queensland Rugby League hopeful of starting training next month before playing in July.

That is dependent on adherence to guidelines set out by the Queensland Government.

But for Bundaberg's two competitions there is another factor that will determine whether they will play or not.

Crowd numbers are important to both competitions.

Both rely on gate takings and spectators attending games and spending money to pay for the costs associated with each organisation.

It is one of only a handful of sports in Bundy that can do that.

"No patrons, no play - this has always been the case," BRL chairman Mike Ireland said.

"But we are all confident there will be patrons by the proposed start."

Crowds could be initially limited to 100 when the final stage of restrictions comes into effect on July 10.

How that impacts the competition remains to be seen.

For the NDRL, it is a similar situation.

"Having no spectators is one of the biggest issues (and) concerns along with our volunteers, the numbers and their ages," NDRL secretary Kym McIntosh said.

"(Chairman) Neil (Redfern) and I are currently speaking with our clubs and what directions we should take.

"We are currently brainstorming and working out ways for a viable 2020 season."

At this stage all clubs are on board.

QRL regional manager Glenn Ottaway on Monday did a live conference to address questions and provide information on how community football will try to get a season started following the coronavirus pandemic.

Ottaway revealed some startling data that showed half of the clubs in the state do not want competition played this year.

This is mainly due to the costs to return and the health and safety of players and volunteers who will be required to complete the season.

Ireland said all clubs were on board to play as long as spectators could attend.

The NDRL said it was focused on providing an outcome for its season that got the majority support of its clubs, Gin Gin, Miriam Vale, Avondale and South Kolan in the NDRL and Gin Gin, Avondale and Agnes Water in the women's tag.

"We are compiling a list of all options that we think are viable for the clubs to take back to their committees to make informed decisions," McIntosh said.

"But we've only just started doing that this week as we've been waiting to see what direction the restrictions were going to take."

If the BRL and NDRL do return, then players will have a say in whether they get a flu jab or not.

All NRL and AFL players in Queensland will need to have one before they can return to action.

But Ottaway said it was different for community rugby league players.

"We're not the NRL or the elite competition where players are contracted or getting paid," he said.

"We are a community based groups offering a community service.

"While it would be encouraged, it's not something that would be enforceable or mandated as part of a return to play in the QRL's eyes."



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