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NSW NRL clubs and Canberra Raiders to relocate to Queensland to counter NSW COVID-19 restrictions

NSW NRL clubs and Canberra Raiders to relocate to Queensland to counter NSW COVID-19 restrictions
July 12, 2021

The NRL has announced that its 12 NSW and ACT based clubs will relocate to south east Queensland for one month due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak in Greater Sydney.

Following the decision to relocate State of Origin Game III from Newcastle to the Gold Coast, an emergency meeting of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has taken the decision for its 10 NSW-based clubs plus the New Zealand Warriors and Canberra Raiders to relocate to dedicated Queensland hubs and play matches out of either Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Clubs will begin moving into Queensland by Wednesday with each club permitted a maximum of 41 players and staff while in their hubs.

The three Queensland clubs and the Melbourne Storm, who are based on the Sunshine Coast, will continue to play home matches out of their current home cities.

Allowances will eventually be made for families to join the hubs.

A revised match schedule for the next four rounds, and the location of these fixtures, will be announced during the coming week.

In a statement released in the wake of recorded cases of COVID-19 continued to rise, ARLC Chairman, Peter V'landys “the Commission has conducted an extensive risk assessment and it is clear from the current data trends that the risk to the competition is too great to continue playing in NSW right now.

"We are seeing close and casual contacts with links to our game on an almost daily basis.

“Queensland presents much lower risk. The Commission is doing everything we can to keep the competition going.

"By keeping the competition going we keep people employed and ensure the players continue to be paid at their current rate.

"Rugby league is also an escapism for people during difficult times and it's important we do everything we can so our fans can continue to watch rugby league every week especially whilst in lockdown.

“These are very difficult decisions.

“I feel for the players who have to leave their homes for a period.

“We will not keep players in Queensland any longer than they need to be.

“We hope it is only for a month, but if it needs to be longer, it will be.

“We’re doing this to protect their livelihoods.

“This will also have a commercial impact on clubs.

“I have assured all clubs that the NRL will ensure they remain financially strong during this period.

“The NRL has found extensive efficiencies and commercial revenue over the last year which ensured the game is financially stronger than it otherwise would have been.”

Image: The Melbourne Storm playing at Sunshine Coast Stadium during the 2020 NRL season. Credit: Sunshine Coast Council.

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30th June 2021 - State lockdowns sees all 18 AFL clubs relocate to Victoria

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16th June 2021 - COVID-19 lockdown sees AFL move Melbourne fixtures to Tasmania

15th June 2021 - Uncertainty over return of crowds at regional Victorian sporting leagues

11th June 2021 - NRL announces expansion of women’s competition to six teams

1st June 2021 - Melbourne Coronavirus situation sees State of Origin opener relocated to Townsville

14th May 2021 - Suncorp Stadium ready for NRL Magic Round

23rd April 2021 - Public dispute over NRL culture in wake of sex tape leak

23rd April 2021 - Sunshine Coast Stadium stakeholders push for upgrade funding in Federal budget

2nd April 2021 - NRL relocates round four fixtures to Sydney

23rd March 2021 - Sport Integrity Australia acknowledges suspension of NRL player for four years

19th March 2021 - Cbus Super Stadium to host NRL game without COVID capacity restrictions

25th February 2021 - NRL cuts operating costs by more than a third in wake of Coronavirus challenges

9th February 2021 - Queensland Government and NRL aim for 50,000 fans a day at Suncorp Stadium during 2021 Magic Round

29th January 2021 - Naming rights deal revealed for Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium

8th December 2020 - Vodafone Warriors to start 2021 NRL season in Australia

19th November 2020 - Suncorp Stadium’s State of Origin crowd gains global acclaim

20th October 2020 - Sunshine Coast Stadium expansion looks for $20 million from Federal Government

1st September 2020 - Huawei ends Canberra Raiders sponsorship citing Australia’s ‘negative’ attitude to Chinese companies

25th August 2020 - eps Australia develop social distancing solution for rugby league fans at Sunshine Coast Stadium

2nd August 2020 - Concerns over crowds’ failure to social distance during NRL clash at Sunshine Coast Stadium

9th March 2020 - Official opening for new Canberra Raiders base

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