In what could possibly be the most sanguine move we’ll see during this essentially-cancelled year, the NRL is looking to resume the 2020 season on May 28. Not sure about you but that feels awfully soon, right?
The Australian Rugby League Commission announced yesterday afternoon that the competition is planned to pick up where it left off in late May, though they’re not sure how the competition will look. There are reportedly two different season structures the ARLC us looking to bring in for the remainder of the season, reportedly including the option to turn the season into a conference system. The league is apparently hoping to stick to the existing competition format, and yes that does include the annual State of Origin games.
Although there have been whispers and thoughts of an ‘NRL island’, where players are essentially quarantined on an island off the Queensland coast and pinged into a local QLD stadium for games – it’s honestly my favourite thing to come out of this 2020 mess, I swear – the NRL is reportedly moving away from that idea. Instead, the league is looking more at stringent testing for everyone involved in the resumed competition.
In the statement, ARL commissioner Wayne Pearce has said that the NRL currently has the support of the NSW Government to train and play the 2020 season, as long as clubs and the wider league sticks to health guidelines – including the NZ Warriors being required to quarantine for 14 days before being able to re-enter the competition.
“We’ve currently got support from the NSW Government in terms of if we adhere to public health guidelines and we make sure that our players follow those guidelines, we are able to train and play,” he said.
“Provided that we have strict measures around testing of players, and put some other protocols in place that allow us to minimise the risk of infection within the playing group and community. Whether that changes or not is a matter of government policy so we can’t influence that.”
Whether the revived NRL 2020 season will actually happen is something that we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m pretty sure Parramatta Eels fans would be happy for it to fall over, considering they’re on the top of the table for the first time in fuck knows how long.