Canberra sport at a glance: NRL eyes restart

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NRL premiership eyes restart

The Australian Rugby League Commission has endorsed a proposal from the Project Apollo committee to resume the Telstra NRL Premiership on 28 May. In addition to resuming the competition in May, Project Apollo also recommended to the Commission that State of Origin be played in a standard three-game format, and the NRL Grand Final be played in Sydney as a standard one-game format. Resumption of the competition remains subject to ongoing advice from government and health experts and continued consultation with all broadcast partners to determine the optimum way to fulfil broadcast obligations.

Community sports postponed further

Rugby Australia and its State and Territory member unions have made the collective decision to further postpone Community Rugby across the country until at least 1 June. All rugby activity including matches, training and face-to-face education courses will not be conducted during this period. The organisations will continue to review this position as further updates from government and health authorities are received.

Football Federation Australia has also decided to extend the temporary suspension of grassroots football. The current suspension, which applies to all sanctioned matches and competitions, including National Premier Leagues, FFA Cup, Junior and grassroots football, as well as training and associated football related activities, will remain in place until 31 May, at which point it will be reassessed.

Brumbies W finish third

The Super W season was finalised on Friday 3 April with the NSW Waratahs Women declared champions for the third straight season, having finished the regular rounds in first place. Due to the ongoing public health emergency of COVID-19, governing bodies agreed the season could not be completed in the near future and collectively decided to conclude the season with immediate effect to provide certainty for teams, athletes and staff. The Brumbies were due to take on the Queensland Reds W for a place in the grand final, having finished third in the regular season. The finals matches were originally postponed until late May.

Huawei stands by Raiders

Huawei Australia has announced they will continue to fulfil their major sponsor obligations to the Canberra Raiders despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by the suspension of the 2020 NRL season. Ongoing financial support provided by Huawei Australia as part of their major sponsorship deal will provide the Canberra Raiders with a vital revenue stream. In response to COVID-19 and suspension of the NRL season, the Canberra Raiders administration closed on Friday 27 March until further notice with administration staff stood down indefinitely.

The Brumbies have also announced that they have offered a significant number of staff reduced hours, while a small number of staff will continue working full-time but with significant salary reductions. These measures have been implemented from 1 April through until at least 30 June. 

Facility upgrades

Bungendore’s Mick Sherd Oval has received an upgrade thanks to a $350,000 investment from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund. The new facility boasts two large change rooms, with six showers in total, as well as four new toilets, two strapping rooms and an all-abilities bathroom. Queanbeyan Bowls Club has also received $230,000 from the Fund, which will be used to replace the existing turf bowling green with a synthetic bowling green.

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Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts