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New guidelines in place for rugby league's return

The NSWRL has taken steps to ensure the game is the safest it has ever been after the introduction of COVID-19-safe and new concussion rules for the 2020 season.

The NSWRL is preparing for the return of Rugby League with community and senior teams able to return to training from 1 July with competitions cleared to start on 18 July.

“We understand that this has been a difficult year for everyone and we want to make sure that all our players, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators feel comfortable when we return to play,” NSWRL General Manager - Football, Barrie-Jon Mather said.

“The NSWRL has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to come up with the appropriate policies and procedures for COVID-19 and concussion, which are important health and safety concerns for everyone.

“I’m confident the game will be in good shape when we resume on 18 July and I look forward to all the action on the field.”

The COVID-19 safety guidelines for ‘Return to Play’ can be found on the NSWRL website (link) and includes important information for clubs, officials, volunteers and participants. Recommendations includes having a COVID-19 safety co-ordinator and a safety plan.

The NSWRL announced new concussion protocols earlier this year which include an 18th man concussion substitution and a mandatory stand down period of 14 days in the interests of player welfare and safety.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NSWRL to cancel a number of its 13 competitions but from 18 July the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership, Sydney Shield and a President’s Cup, which will involve a blend of teams from regional NSW and Sydney, will all resume.

There has been a positive response for junior, senior and Blues Tag competitions with more than 90 per cent of clubs across the state successfully completing their COVID-19 safety training.