HAPPIER TIMES: Swifts celebrate during a clash with Redbank Plains at the north Ipswich Reserve last year.
HAPPIER TIMES: Swifts celebrate during a clash with Redbank Plains at the north Ipswich Reserve last year.

RLI chairman concedes season is in grave doubt

IT appears only disappointment awaits players and supporters, with little chance remaining rugby league will be played in Ipswich this year.

Brothers have chosen to sit their teams on the sidelines irrespective of whether the competition proceeds or not, and Norths, Fassifern and Goodna are expected to follow suit after club committees meet in coming days.

Rugby League Ipswich chairman Gary Parker said an announcement regarding whether the competition would go ahead would be made next week but he conceded it looked unlikely any play would occur this year.

“I don’t think the season is going to happen,” he said.

Parker will leave the door open until next week in hope the number of people allowed to gather at any venue is increased to 500, a mark which he has identified as the minimum RLI would need permitted at grounds to move forward.

In addition to the concerns about the mass gathering restriction, other obstacles associated with implementing the Return to Play guidelines also stand in RLI’s way.

Parker said he had examined the requirements outlined in the Return to Play booklet for rugby league and questioned if RLI could muster the necessary manpower to roll them out safely and ensure compliance.

He said he would hate for a single player or volunteer to be infected as a result of their involvement in the game.

“I don’t know where we would get all of the volunteers to do it,” he said.

“That’s the issue.

“The other big thing is risk.”

Parker understood Brothers’ rationale and said the club was entitled to make decisions it felt were in the best interests of players and supporters.

He said representatives from all of the junior and senior clubs had voted at separate meetings held recently and the majority felt not proceeding with the season was the most appropriate course of action given the circumstances.



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