Wales officially cancel club rugby league season

Josh McAllister

Wales Rugby League have announced that the 2020 club season has been cancelled.

The decision was taken after consulting all of the community rugby league clubs in an emergency meeting held on Tuesday night, and the WRL board have been informed.

Furthermore, no structured or organised club rugby league training or playing activity, either indoors or outdoors, can take place in Wales until December 1 2020.

CEO Gareth Kear said: “We have been working closely with the Welsh Government, the Rugby Football League and the Welsh Rugby Union.

“All of the intelligence suggests that we are heading into a second wave with the start of local lockdowns, and with little chance of the rules on social distancing changing in the near future, we have taken the decision that the health of players, coaches, volunteers and the general public must come first.

“We are a summer sport and so we will now start to build for 2021 and our World Cup year.

“We are now effectively back to Phase 1 of our ‘phased return to play strategy’ and I would like to put on public record how impressed I have been with all the tremendous work that our community clubs in North and South Wales have done in preparing and strictly adhering to our COVID-19 protocols and procedures. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things in unique circumstances.”

Full-time professional and “elite” pathways are currently exempt from this ruling as Wales Rugby League has not yet ruled out elite rugby league activity for 2020 and, with guidance from the Welsh Government and Sport Wales, will continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Elite rugby league activity encompasses representative programmes such as Wales international sides, regional representative sides and the WRL National Development Academy at Coleg y Cymoedd.