The West Coast Conference of the new North American Rugby League competition has been postponed until next year.
The NARL say they have been unable to secure the high level of insurance they feel is necessary to ensure all of the players are adequately covered while playing in the newly formed competition.
As a result, Austin Armadillo, Las Vegas Blackjacks, Phoenix Venom, Portland Loggers, San Diego Swell and San Francisco Rush will not play in the league until 2022.
A statement by the NARL read: “The health and wellbeing of the players and coaches is obviously a priority for us, and we will not allow any of the athletes on the field without knowing they are very well protected.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to the insurance problem for the Western Conference teams because those players would have been cohabiting and that created an issue for the insurers.
“While this situation is certainly not optimal, we believe (after thoughtful consideration) that it is the prudent approach to an unfortunate situation. The six teams will remain part of the NARL and will be ready to participate in the 2022 matchplay.
“To all of our fans and supporters, thank you for your kindness and encouragement these past six months. We look forward to sharing the games of the Eastern Division teams every Saturday this summer and to delivering amazing rugby for many years to come.”
The East Coast Conference will go ahead as planned in June, with Atlanta Rhinos, Boston Thirteens, Brooklyn Kings, Cleveland Rugby League, New York Freedom and Washington Cavalry all taking part.