Clubs from the Betfred Championship and League 1 met by conference call with the Rugby Football League on Tuesday to consider the implications of the suspension of the 2020 season enforced by the latest Government guidelines surrounding Covid-19 and social distancing and mass gatherings.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said:
“Public health and concern for the most vulnerable is everyone’s priority.
“It was important that we exchanged information and allowed the clubs to discuss their position as soon as possible following the confirmation that the season will be suspended.
“This will have a significant impact on clubs at all levels, as on all businesses, in all sectors. It is important for us as a governing body to be able to represent those clubs, given what a powerful force for good they are in our communities.
“It was a positive meeting at which all agreed on the importance of a collegiate approach, both for the Championship and League 1 clubs and the game as a whole – focusing on three key areas of player welfare, club sustainability, and the integrity of the competitions.
“We will maintain regular dialogue with the clubs, as well as with Government, broadcasters and sponsors, over the period of our initial suspension until the weekend of 3 April, as we work together and look forward to the resumption of games.”
The RFL has consistently followed the Government’s advice. All activity in the Community Game is suspended – training, games, festivals, sessions, courses etc. The RFL will also reschedule coach education courses over the coming weeks.
The RFL is making more Rugby League coaching, learning and fun resources available to coaches and clubs, parents and children – focused on staying well and engaged in the sport in different ways.
There will be content, quizzes, competitions and prizes for children and young people, and for adults. The RFL is working with RLWC2021 to make sure that everyone in Rugby League and our wider communities can access the new Mental Fitness Charter resources. And a full programme of Rugby League content has been lined up for Our League and rugby-league.com; starting with great matches like the England v Tonga semi-final from RLWC2017 on Saturday.
The RFL has also suspended England Performance Unit activity, which means the gatherings that had been planned for the England Wheelchair squad in Sheffield this weekend, and by the new England Head Coach Shaun Wane at Old Trafford on 23rd March, have been postponed. In each case, they will be rearranged as soon as possible, consistent with Government advice.