In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and deteriorating conditions in the state, NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) and its affiliate unions have jointly made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel all winter rugby competitions in the Sydney region (and Illawarra).
In arriving at this decision, NSWRU has worked with Affiliates, the NSW Government and our fellow winter sports and were left with little option but to cancel the 2021 winter rugby competitions with there being no current NSW Government sanctioned roadmap out of lockdown for Community sport.
In reaching the decision, NSWRU considered its obligation to comply with Public Health Orders as well as its broader obligation to provide participants with a safe environment in which to play sport.
The competitions affected include Sydney Junior Rugby Union, NSW Suburban Rugby Union, Sydney Rugby Union (including Charter Hall Shute Shield), Women’s Jack Scott Cup, Regular Schoolboy Competitions in term 3 and the Illawarra Zone Junior and Senior competitions.
NSWRU Chief Executive Officer Paul Doorn said that this decision was not taken lightly but made with the health and safety of the rugby community front of mind.
“2021 continues to present us with many challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the safety of our community continues to be of utmost importance,” Doorn said.
“We have assessed a number of contingency options, and after consultation with Affiliates, our collective position is that the 2021 season cannot proceed under current restrictions.
“In these challenging times, it is imperative that our community work together, to keep not only ourselves, but our peers, teammates, coaches, volunteers and the whole New South Wales community safe.
“We’re dealing with unprecedented times, but I know that if our rugby community continues to stick together, we will be able to come out stronger on the other side,” he said.
All other regional Zones in NSW are still progressing at this time while some competitions may be in abeyance due to temporary lockdowns. We encourage those other competitions to continue to operate under the current Public Health Orders relevant to community sport.
NSWRU would like to thank all the volunteers, players, parents, and sponsors for their patience during this incredibly tough time and for their commitment and support of our great game.
NSWRU acknowledges the support which it always receives from its colleagues in the other major winter codes, particularly AFL, Netball, Football, Rugby League and Hockey, who have been forced to make similar heartbreaking decisions in relation to their own competitions.
NSWRU urges everyone to remain safe and adhere to the COVID-19 safe guidelines as set out by the current NSW Government guidelines and consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible.