AS the major football codes in Australia restart in their professional forms, community competitions which rely heavily on a volunteer workforce have been unable to follow suit.
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The Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union (NHRU) have announced that the 2020 rugby premiership season will not go ahead but has left the door ajar for an interclub carnival closer to the year’s end.
In a statement NHRU president Bill Clifton outlined the importance of keeping all those involved in the game safe during these unpredictable times.
“There is only one thing we can say with certainty for the 2020 Newcastle and Hunter Rugby season and that is it will be a season like no other,” said Mr Clifton.
“While restrictions are changing every day, the uncertainty means the Newcastle and Hunter rugby premiership season won’t be going ahead.”
For the Nelson Bay Gropers it means there’ll be no rugby on the Tomaree Peninsula for the foreseeable future.
Gropers President Ray Milton said that rugby clubs in the NHRU generate most of their income from game days and with that restricted it would be impossible to continue.
“All the club’s were unanimous in their view that the restricted return of community rugby in July simply could not work for a normal rugby season,” said Mr Milton.
“No crowds, bars or canteens would bleed clubs of funds when they have had no income this year.
“The NHRU is still keeping it’s options open for a really short 15-a-side season, or more likely, a series of gala days held around the zone.”
The NHRU is expected to make an announcement in the coming weeks about virtual competitions and other alternatives for rugby players and supporters.
By Mitch LEES