Australia and New Zealand withdraw from Rugby League World Cup in England, with both countries calling for the tournament to be postponed due to fears of the coronavirus
Australia and New Zealand have withdrawn from the Rugby League World Cup in England this fall and have called for a postponement over fears of the coronavirus.
A joint statement from the two countries read: ‘The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) today informed the organizers of the International Rugby League (IRL) and Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) that Australia and New Zealand will not participate in a 2021 World Cup due to concerns about player welfare and safety.
“The ARLC and NZRL have again requested that the RLWC2021 be postponed to 2022 in order to minimize the risk of players contracting COVID-19 and ensure the best outcome for the player’s well-being.”
Reigning champions Australia (pictured) and New Zealand have withdrawn from this autumn’s World Cup in England over fears of the coronavirus
NZRL chief executive Greg Peters called “big differences” between the management of the pandemic in the UK and Australasia and stressed it was “just too unsafe” for the teams to participate in the tournament.
He said: ‘There are big differences between how the pandemic is being managed in the UK compared to Australasia and recent developments have shown how quickly things can change.
“The tournament organizers have moved heaven and earth to make this work so it’s not an easy decision but the Covid-19 situation in the UK is showing no signs of improving and it’s just too unsafe for teams and staff to be involved.” to steer.’
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses outside Downing Street next to the Rugby League World Cup