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The NSWRL has made the very difficult decision to abandon Group 3 Junior Rugby League for the rest of the 2021 season following the announcement by the NSW Government the lockdown for Regional NSW would be extended until 10 September to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

The NSWRL made the decision in consultation with the Group’s Board of Directors after it was determined it would not be possible to recommence and finish the season in the remaining timeframe, particularly with no certainty understandably on when the NSW Government can ease lockdown restrictions.

The decision does not affect the senior competition in Group 3 which remains hopeful of finishing the season.

“We would like to thank all clubs, participants, officials and volunteers for their participation in what has been a fantastic 2021 season,” NSWRL Head of Football Robert Lowrie said.

“We have had a great season and have been very fortunate to get as much of the season in that we have. We also recognise the difficulty around ‘Return to Play’ protocols, field availability and players moving on to summer sports in early October.

“We appreciate the efforts and understanding of all stakeholders around this as it was not a decision that was taken lightly but one that had to be made with the uncertainty surrounding the situation with COVID-19 and any easing of restrictions.”

Group 3 enjoyed a successful season with record participation numbers of 2298 registered players across their 10 Junior League Clubs, which represented an increase of 11 per cent from the 2070 participants who signed up to play in the pre-COVID-19 season of 2019.

“We thank all stakeholders for their attempts to get Rugby League back on the field, urge everyone to stay safe and adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines, and we look forward to their return in 2022,” Lowrie said.

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