I hope not mate I have tickets for this'Player safety comes first' - Covid already hitting State of Origin as Blues cancel Pre-Season camp: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...d/news-story/97d93e3b8e14df43490b820e277bc83d
From Zero Tackle,
All Stars game set for rocky road as clubs make concerns clear
The annual curtain-raiser to the NRL season, the All Stars match, is no sure thing to happen in 2022.
While the NRL have scheduled the match as competitive rugby league's return to Sydney following the relocation of the competition to south east Queensland at the back end of 2021 to complete the season amid a COVID wave in New South Wales and Victoria, seeing Sydney-based football fans not seeing any action for the final months of the season.
However, it's understood COVID is a big part of the reason NRL bosses are concerned about sending their players into the All Stars camp.
Most teams have already lost a chunk of their pre-season thanks to COVID, with players forced into isolation for a week at a time after contracting the virus.
The Newcastle Knights and Canberra Raiders were forced to shut down their football operations a week early ahead of Christmas, while the Canterbury Bulldogs also reshuffled training sessions and lost a chunk of time.
It's understood every club in the competition had their return to training date impacted for at least some players, with some clubs first week's back barely having half of their respective squads available to train.
COVID management is likely to play a big part in the 2022 season, and so it is little surprise clubs are concerned about the All Stars camp.
The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting clubs will make those concerns clear to the NRL when all 16 clubs had a phone hook up with the Australian Rugby League Commission on Friday this week.
Club officials have reportedly told the publication players are already behind on their preparations and fitness thanks to the disruptions, and there are concerns another week away from camp at crunch time in the pre-season will only make things tougher, not to mention the risk of catching COVID.
“We appreciate the game and what it represents, but it’s not ideal under the circumstances because of everything that is going on everywhere,” one club boss reportedly told the publication.
“There has been so much disruption already, and I’m talking about every club, not just ours.
“You have to wonder if the players will have had enough training under the belt because of all the disruptions. Nine times out of 10 you’d say they haven’t. Then you have to put up with having them away from your footy club another week.”
It's understood the NRL want to push ahead with the game, which is a key part of the pre-season.
While the Indigenous All Stars have always been part of the concept, they formerly played against either an NRL or World All Stars team, before the Maori All Stars team were introduced to the concept for the 2019 concept, with crowds since being 18,802, 23,599 and 20,206 at AAMI Park in Melbourne, CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast and Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville since.
A women's All Stars match is also played on the same day.
This year's match is scheduled to be played at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta on Saturday, February 12, before all 16 clubs play two trials each over the following fortnight, with a week off then scheduled in between the end of trials and the opening match of the season, which will see the Brisbane Broncos play the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Thursday, March 10.
Agree Callmack1 as I did not see this one coming and I am a little shocked.Nicholls set to soldier on with Bromwich in Dolphins' Dad's army pack: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/ni...-pack-alongside-bromwich-20220121-p59q83.html
Obviously a bit gutted by this and it has come as a bit of a shock. Never saw this coming at all. Nicho has become a great player, an important member of our pack and something of a cult hero among fans. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I absolutely love the bloke. So this news is upsetting, there's no doubt.
However, the thing is, as good a player as the Goat is, he is the kind of player that can be replaced. Someone else younger will come along and take his place and we will hopefully not feel his loss too much in 2023. I see Moale coming through and being a better player in time I hope.
That's not to discredit Nicho at all though, as I said, we all love him and he's a great player. However, that's just the way I see it and I'm sure many feel the same.
What makes me a bit angry and disappointed is that he only re-signed a few months ago. He's now done a Bayley Sironen on us and jumped ship a couple months later with a huge change of hearts. I don't know about you guys but that doesn't sit well with me.
The other thing is, the whole story about Wayne not even being able to talk to our players for the first six months, and having that in his contract, is clearly not true which is also not great news.