We are pleased that the recent easing of restrictions by the state government to allow the return to training for sport has engaged many Rugby League clubs across Victoria. This is an important milestone for those clubs that have been able to open their facilities to welcome back their members to train.
All training is being conducted under the NRL Victoria Return to Training Guidelines as a requirement of all clubs, as a well requiring permission by facility owners to comply with their requirements.
Current advice from the Victorian State Government is that it is possible for conditions to change again on 22 June, as part of the ongoing assessment into restrictions on social gatherings in the State. Whilst this is not guaranteed, it is positive that this possibility exists.
NRL Victoria has adopted the following principles regarding development of competitions for 2020 and resuming play:
· NRL Victoria will continue to take advice from the Victorian State Government on the safe to return to play;
· NRL Victoria work collaboratively with the NRL Victoria Advisory Panel, clubs and referees for Rugby League to be played this season;
· NRL Victoria understand and respects that some clubs and players will choose not to play this year for COVID-19 related reasons and they will be supported even if they chose not to play;
· NRL Victoria will seek to maintain the competitive integrity of any competitions modified in 2020.
NRL Victoria advises that it will be targeting the resumption of competition Rugby League on Saturday 18 July 2020.
We emphasise that this remains:
· Only a target date; and
· Is subject to further advice from the Federal and State Chief Health Officers; and
· May be revised should the Victorian Government and SRV advise new dates as we move through the announced stages for the resumption of sport; and
· Sufficient easing of restrictions occurs to allow a minimum 2 weeks of contact training prior to competition start.
The above target date is intended to allow enough preparation time for return of NRL Victoria staff, competition structure, fixture development, and the engagement of clubs in their own planning.
The development of a competition structure will allow NRL Victoria to continue advocate to insurance providers about possible fee assistance to be passed back onto clubs.
It is intended that an 18 July start date will allow for a 10-12 week competition, plus finals.
I am personally in admiration and respect of the ongoing resilience and patience by the Rugby League community in Victoria during these challenging times. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support. We look forward to seeing you all out on the field and at our clubs very soon.
NRL Victoria - General Manager