Plans in place to bring footy back to Queensland

A new top-tier rugby league competition could be introduced in southeast Queensland from as early as June, as the state's governing body explores ways to get their players back on the field.

The Queensland Rugby League announced in March that all statewide competitions, including the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deerings Colts and Mal Meninga Cup, had been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, while community rugby league was suspended until June 1.

With the June 1 deadline now fast approaching, the QRL are not only working towards a return to the field within the next two months, but are also looking at how they can now incorporate their Intrust Super Cup players into the community level.

The QRL is set to meet this week to discuss several options, including drafting Intrust Super Cup players into community teams in some regions, while also starting a new division in the southeast.

 

The Courier-Mail understands that while players in areas such as Cairns, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast could be shared across their respective community teams, there are concerns that filtering Intrust Super Cup players into Brisbane Rugby League clubs would cause a "flooding" of the teams.

Jayden Nikorima in action for the Redcliffe Dolphins against the Norths Devils. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker
Jayden Nikorima in action for the Redcliffe Dolphins against the Norths Devils. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker

 

The QRL want to avoid having an unbalanced competition and also don't want to see BRL talent lose their places to Intrust Super Cup players.

They are therefore looking at the possibility of playing a separate, one-off community competition between Redcliffe, Norths, Easts, Souths Logan, Wynnum Manly and even Burleigh to keep the Intrust Super Cup talent on the field, without affecting the BRL.

It is understood a similar concept is also being looked at for the women's BHP Premiership.

Dave Maiden, the QRL's Major Competitions Manager, said yesterday that no decisions had been made on how community football will proceed across the state, but they were looking at multiple options.

"Given that statewide comps will not start again in 2020, we have to look at the way current statewide players can interact and integrate into community leagues," he told The Courier-Mail.

"Across the state, there will be different options. Once there is a kick off put in place, we will be able to identify what we can do.

"All options are being explored."

QRL’s major competitions manager, David Maiden. Picture: Supplied
QRL’s major competitions manager, David Maiden. Picture: Supplied

 

An announcement on the kick-off is also expected soon.

With the NRL due back on May 28 and the NSWRL looking at a July return for their competitions, QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher believes the QRL will also be ready to go within the next two months.

"We'd be looking at getting that going around June-July," he said of community rugby league.

"Everyone has got their finger on the trigger.

"We need the confirmation at the top that it's safe and the risks are minimal as long as people continue to be sensible.

"We're more flexible in terms of community football, we believe we can get that up pretty quickly."

Originally published as Plans in place to bring footy back to Queensland



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