What's new
The Front Row Forums

Register a free account today to become a member of the world's largest Rugby League discussion forum! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Australia and New Zealand withdraw from RLWC

League Unlimited News

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
4,871

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) today informed the International Rugby League (IRL) and Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) organisers that Australia and New Zealand will not compete in a 2021 World Cup because of player welfare and safety concerns.
The ARLC and NZRL has again requested the RLWC2021 be postponed until 2022 to minimise risk of players contracting COVID-19 and ensure the best outcome for player wellbeing.
The decision to withdraw from the RLWC2021 comes after considering the risk of COVID-19 infection in the United Kingdom, the worsening environment in Australia and the time a majority of NRL Telstra Premiership players will spend away from home under strict biosecurity conditions prior to the World Cup. The ARLC and NZRL have resolved, that in the present environment the risks to athletes and officials travelling to the UK to participate in the tournament this year are too great, and it is unable to endorse Australia and New Zealand participating in the RLWC in 2021.
ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM said player wellbeing and safety must come first.
“Not participating in this year’s World Cup is not a decision the Commission has taken lightly, but we must put the best interests of our players and officials first. Protecting them is our absolute priority,’’ he said.
“In the current environment, the risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of the players and officials travelling from Australia to participate in the tournament this year are insurmountable.
"The majority of NRL players are currently living away from home under difficult biosecurity protocols. They would then be required to remain under protocols and away from home for the duration of the tournament before again quarantining on return to Australia. This is too much to ask our players and officials to do.
“We have again requested the IRL and Rugby League World Cup consider postponing the event until 2022 to enable all players to participate.”
NZRL CEO Greg Peters said the decision to withdraw was in the best interests of players and officials.
“The safety and wellbeing of our people is the main priority, and unfortunately, that cannot be guaranteed to our satisfaction,” he said.
“There are stark differences between how the pandemic is being managed in the UK compared to Australasia and recent developments have highlighted how quickly things can change.
“The tournament organisers have moved heaven and earth to make this work, so it is not an easy decision, but the Covid-19 situation in the UK shows no sign of improving, and it's simply too unsafe to send teams and staff over.
“We understand how disappointing this is for fans and those involved; however player and staff safety remains paramount.”
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
2,630
So does this prevent NRL players playing for other nations? Tonga and Fiji will never get a better chance if at full strength
Samoa would probably do the best out if it as they haven't had too many defectors outside of Taupau.

The Cooks would be able to form an awesome team with all their Kiwi (and some Aussies) players (Manu, CNK, Rapana, Holmes, Marsters, Napa, Glenn and I think Brandon Smith and Tamou have got Cookie ancestry too).
 

Clarkent

Juniors
Messages
376
So does this prevent NRL players playing for other nations? Tonga and Fiji will never get a better chance if at full strength
I don't think the island teams would compete as well... If they do it'll be a very weak side... Most of the island players play in the nrl... Like the article said the players are away from their families for most of the year so they'll definitely want to return to their families once the nrl season finishes
 

Matua

Bench
Messages
2,630
I don't think the island teams would compete as well... If they do it'll be a very weak side... Most of the island players play in the nrl... Like the article said the players are away from their families for most of the year so they'll definitely want to return to their families once the nrl season finishes
Yeah, the Island bodies will fall in behind the NRL and NZ.
 
Messages
8,397
So Mr Vlandys has expected the NZ Warriors stay out of country for a season and a half …In a country with far greater COVID issues than their homeland….

yet does not trust the UK to host a tournament for 4 weeks…

The NZ cricket team was ok enough to spend that amount of time in the UK, so too India… The Euro footballs championships recently, and other teams before them…

When Vlandys quotes “player welfare” it’s a cop out. It’s more likely they don’t want to spend the money to send a team there..

if the shoe was on the other foot and England / NZ boycotted an Australian tournament - I wonder what his reaction would be…

The ARLC for all too long a time has thumbed its nose at the UK… and continues to do so. We hear noises about “promoting international rugby league” yet do nothing for England and continue to do so - the game originated in England yet the ARLC treat them with contempt…

Now it’s Vlandys turn…

The English game really needs the boost of a World Cup… it’s struggling over there far more than people realise..

now Vlandys has cut the cord…. Yes NZRL too… but it’s just further proof to me this bloke is a self-righteous narcissist with only his own interests at heart.. not the greater good of the sport.
 
Last edited:

parrawentyfan

Juniors
Messages
594
As a compromise, I wonder if Aus and NZ could form decent teams with European based players? SL is full of them and it would be a good chance for those players to shine, save costs and travel and keep the tournament on track.
 

League Unlimited News

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
4,871

"Late this afternoon I received a call from Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys AM informing me that the commission had met and voted not to sign the participation agreements for Rugby League World Cup 2021 and would not be supplying Australian players for the three competitions. I appreciate Peter calling me to explain the rationale behind the ARLC's decision and, whilst I can appreciate the ARLC's intent to ensure player safety and welfare, I find it difficult to find the words that adequately describe my disappointment with that decision.

"Every sporting organisation, every industry, government and family globally have been impacted by thispandemic. RLWC2021 and IRL only recently stated that we fully appreciated the challenges facing us to run a successful Rugby League World Cup with player and officials' safety our priority and we have met every request regarding this issue made of us by ARLC, New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA). All designed to mitigate potential risks and satisfy the demands of ARLC and NZRL.

"I have been in regular communication with the RLPA and a number of international players and coaches who have been satisfied with the world cup's biosecurity arrangements and expressed a clear determination to travel to England and proudly represent their nations. They have expressed to me that they feel their own personal choice to participate or not in the world cup has been taken from them. The RLPA have again committed to continue to work with IRL and the Local Organising Committee towards a 2021 tournament including Australian and New Zealand players who have dual eligibility and who are now keen to play for other nations.

"The withdrawal of the Australian teams has also seen the New Zealand teams withdraw and this maysignificantly compromise the tournament. I have spoken to RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton regarding the news and the obvious impact these decisions have on the tournament, and we will be reconvening to consider our options and next steps once the RLWC2021 Board and UK government have had time to consider and absorb the news themselves.

"My job from here is to understand the LOC's and UK government's attitude towards continuing with the RLWC without Australia and New Zealand, if that is a viable option, or consider other options available to us. The next week will be critical but despite whatever happens my job as IRL Chair is to pick up the pieces of international rugby league's tarnished reputation as a result of these decisions when quite clearly other sports have demonstrated their ability to run events during the pandemic, both in England and in other countries with equal challenges from the pandemic, including Australian and New Zealand representation.

"The obvious question being asked of us is why rugby league players are not able to make the same sacrifices as players from other sports? Sadly, players are telling me they haven't had the opportunity to make that decision for themselves."
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
43,960
Cowards! Soccer, cricket, union, every sport in the olympics. Only Australian RL is so soft that theyre bailing on international competition. I really hope the other Southern Hemisphere countries stick two fingers up at Vlandys and go.
I’d be more excited to see a Tonga v england and png v fiji semis anyway!
RLWC should invite an Anzac invitational side from English based players and usa to make up the numbers.
 
Messages
236
I couldn’t imagine rugby teams doing this. They are doing a lions tour in South Africa with all the unrest and that. You got teams jet setting all over the globe.
You’ve had Wimbledon, the Grand Prix, olympics, cricketers touring and all other international events going ahead. Some with Australians there. What’s this going to do with fixtures and such.
Individual "sports" are totally different. The Lions tour and the Olympics should not be going ahead. It's all down to money. Correct decision by the NRL not to go to England.
 
Top