NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU), together with NSW Country Rugby Union (CRU), have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the winter rugby competitions in the country zones.
The decision was prompted by the NSW Government announcing an extension to the current stay at home orders for regional NSW until September 10. In reaching the decision, NSWRU and NSWCRU considered its obligation to comply with Public Health Orders as well as its broader obligations to provide participants with a safe environment in which to play sport.
The competitions affected include Central Coast Rugby Union, Mid North Coast Rugby Union, New England Rugby Union, Far North Coast Rugby Union, Central West Rugby Union, Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union, Western Plains Rugby Union, Central North Rugby Union, and Illawarra Rugby Union which was previously announced alongside the cancellation of the metropolitan winter season. The cancelations affect all participants in these areas from juniors to seniors.
NSWRU Chief Executive Officer Paul Doorn: “It is deeply disappointing that we have had to cancel the remainder of the winter country competitions, but the extension of current stay at home orders has meant that they are unable to proceed as planned.”
“While this is disappointing news for our country rugby community, we remain optimistic for the future and will work together with our affiliates to proceed with planning for summer competitions, and the 2022 winter season.
“We are all facing tough times at the moment, but our rugby community has continued to show their resilience - time and time again.
“I look forward to when our community can reunite on the field again, but until then we need to adhere to the NSW Health orders and stay at home, to keep each other and our community safe,” he said.
NSW Country Rugby Union President Luke Stephen said: “It’s obviously extremely disappointing for our players and volunteers that make country rugby what it is to have to cancel our seasons so close to finals time. However the current restrictions and the uncertainty around when it would be safe to return to the field left our zones with no other option.”
“Be it drought, bushfire, floods, mice or COVID-19, our people from the country are resilient and I’m certain we’ll dust ourselves off and be back to go in 2022”
NSWRU would like to thank all the volunteers, players, parents, affiliates, sponsors and supporters for their patience during this incredibly tough time and for their commitment and support of our great game.
NSWRU urges everyone to remain safe and adhere to the COVID-19 safe guidelines as set out by the current NSW Government guidelines and consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible.