QRL set to make huge call on local footy
THE QRL is facing the possibility of postponing all its major and grassroot competitions until June due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The QRL's board of directors will meet Tuesday night to discuss several options around rugby league in Queensland, including what will happen with the Intrust Super Cup, the women's BHP Premiership, Hastings Deerings Colts, the Mal Meninga Cup and all community and local football.
While the PNG Hunters have been kept in Queensland in a bid to play Round 2 of the Intrust Super Cup, it is unclear whether any competitions will continue past this weekend.
Among the options to be discussed tonight, one includes postponing all rugby league organised by the QRL until June, in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The option of a shortened season is also expected to be looked at, as well as pushing on and playing games behind closed doors.
While the board will meet Tuesday night, a decision may not be reached until Wednesday given the financial flow-on effect of a suspended season.
Tuesday's meeting comes after the Hunters set up a training base on the Sunshine Coast yesterday in a bid to keep the Intrust Super Cup alive.
Similar efforts have been made by the NRL's New Zealand Warriors, who were this week relocated to Kingscliff and will play their first home game of the season at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.
The Hunters were due to fly back to PNG on Monday to prepare for their first home game in Port Moresby against the Blackhawks.
However, with the recent 14-day self isolation protocol put in place by the Federal Government, the Hunters have opted to remain in Australia, for the time being.
Only one player is expected to fly back to PNG this week after suffering a broken arm in Sunday's win over the Magpies.
Another concern facing the club is the lack of clothes and training equipment the playing group has at their disposal.
Head coach Matt Church said it had been a rollercoaster week for the club.
"It's been a very topsy-turvy 24 hours for us," Church said.
"We had a good win against Souths Logan (on Sunday) and then I had to break the news we weren't going back to PNG.
"It was a bit difficult but the players have been really good.
"For the betterment of the game and the Intrust Super Cup, we've decided to stay in Australia."
The QRL on Monday said it would "continue to be guided by the NRL and other relevant health authorities, with the QRL Board to meet this week to review all aspects of the current situation".